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Presented to the 

LIBRARY of the 



the estate of 


" Dalla straordinarieth, degli effetti certo puo indursi la straordinarieth,, la 
grandezza, 1' insistenza delle cagioni ; ma 1' intreccio e 1' alterno prevalere 
di queste, 1' attrazione che esercitano, sfuggono all' analisi. II mistero 
precinge la notturna fecondazione. Dai pin disparati sentiment! trae 
vigore la setta. Le materie piu preziose ed insieme le meno elette con- 
corrono a formare questo gigante, rifusione ciclopica e tetra di quanto 
s' agita, ribolle e schiuma nelle viscere sociali." G. DE CASTRO. 

From the extraordinary nature of the effects we may infer the extra- 
ordinary nature, grandeur, and permanency of the causes ; but their con- 
nection, varying predominance, and mutual attraction, escape all analysis. 
Mystery surrounds the obscure fecundation. Sects draw vigour from the 
most opposite sentiments. The most exalted as well as the meanest 
elements concur in forming this giant, a cyclopean and black fusion of all 
that seethes, boils, and ferments in the social viscera. 




A Comprehensive Account of upwards of One Hundred 

and Sixty Secret Organisations Religious, Political, 

and Social from the most Remote Ages 

down to the Present Time 

Embracing the Mysteries of Ancient India, China, Japan, Egypt, Mexico, 
Peru, Greece, and Scandinavia, the Cabbalists, Early Christians, 
Heretics, Assassins, Thugs, Templars, the Vehm and 
Inquisition, Mystics, Rosicrucians, Illuminati, Free- 
masons, Skopzi, Camorristi, Carbonari, Nihilists, 
Fenians, French, Spanish, 

And other Mysterious Sects 









VOL. I. 

The numbers preceding analytical headings refer to the sections. 




INTRODUCTION. I. Intelligibility and Nature of Secret Societies. 2. Classi- 
fication of Secret Societies. 3. Religious Societies. 4. Political 
Societies. 5. Aims of Political Societies. 6. Religious Secret 
Societies. 7. Most perfect human Type. 8. Causes of high Mental 
Development. 9. Primitive Culture. 10. The true Doctrines of 
Nature and Being, n. Fundamental Principles of true Knowledge 
possessed by the Ancients. 12. Key to Mystic Teaching. 13. Mystic 
Teaching summarised. 14. How true Knowledge came to be lost. 

15. Original Spirit of the Mysteries, and Results of their Decay. 

1 6. The Mysteries under their Astronomical Aspect. 17. Astronomical 
Aspects continued The Mysteries funereal. 18. Uniformity of 
Dogmas. 19. Most Ancient Secret Society. 20. Secret Societies no 
longer needed 1-19 



I. THE MAGI. 21. Derivation of the term Magus. 22. Antiquity of the 

Magi. 23. Zoroaster. 24. Doctrine of Zoroaster. 25. The Light wor- 
shipped. 26. Origin of the word Deus, God. 27. Mode of Initiation. 
28. Myth of Rustam 23-29 

II. THE MITHRAICS. 29. Mysteries of Mithras. 30. Origin of Mithraic 

Worship. 31. Dogmas, &c. 32. Rites of Initiation. 33. Thammuz 30-33 

III. BRAHMINS AND GYMNOSOPHISTS. 34. Vulgar Creed of India. 35. 
Secret Doctrines. 36. Hindoo Cosmogony. 37. Buddhism. 38. Budd- 
histic Teaching. 39. Asceticism. 40. Gymnosophists. 41. Places for 
celebrating Mysteries. 42. Initiation. 43. The ineffable name Aum. 

44. The Lingam. 45. The Lotus. 46. The Jains . . . 34-41 



IV. EGYPTIAN MYSTERIES. 47. Antiquity of Egyptian Civilisation. 48. 
Temples of Ancient Egypt. 49. Egyptian Priests and Kings. 50. 
Exoteric and Esoteric Doctrines. 51. Egyptian Mythology. 52. The 
Phoenix. 53. The Cross. 54. Places of Initiation. 55. Process of 
Initiation. 56. Mysteries of Serapis. 57. Mysteries of Osiris. 

58. Isis 42-5 


Preparation. 60. First Degree. 61. Second Degree. 62. Third De- 
gree, or the Gate of Death. 63. Fourth Degree, or the Battle of the 
Shades. 64. Fifth Degree : Balahate. 65. Sixth Degree : Astronomers 
at the Gate of the Gods. 66. Seventh Degree : Propheta. 67. Con- 
cluding Remarks 5 I- 5^ 

VI. METAMORPHOSIS OP THE LEGEND OP Isis. 68. Spread of Egyptian 
Mysteries. 69. Dionysiac or Bacchic Mysteries. 70. Sabazian 
Mysteries. 71. Mysteries of the Cabiri. 72. Eleusinian Mysteries. 
73. Doors of Horn and Ivory. 74- Suppression of Eleusinian 
Mysteries. 75. The Thesmophoria. 76. Aim of Grecian Mysteries 
more Moral than Religious ........ 57-62 

78. Introduction of Chinese Mysteries. 79. Parallel between Budd- 
hism and Christianity. 80. Lau-Tze. 8 1. Japanese Mysteries. 82. 
Japanese Doctrines. 83. The Lama 63-66 

85. Mexican Deities. 86. Cruelty of Mexican Worship. 87. Initia- 
tion into Mysteries. 88. The Greater Mysteries. 89. Human Sacrifices. 
90. Clothing in Bloody Skins. 91. Peruvian Mysteries. 92. Quiches 
Initiation 67-72 

IX. THE DRUIDS. 93. The Druids, the Magi of the West. 94. Temples. 
95. Places of Initiation. 96. Rites. 97. Doctrines. 98. Political and 
Judicial Power. 99. Priestesses. 100. Abolition . . . 73~77 

X. SCANDINAVIAN MYSTERIES. 101. Drottes. 102. Ritual. 103. Astro- 

nomical Meaning Demonstrated 78-80 



I. THE CABBALA. 104. Its Origin. 105. Date of Cabbala. 106. The Book 

of the Creation. 107. Different Kinds of Cabbala. 108. Visions of 
Ezekiel. 109. The Creation out of Nothing, no. Revival of Cabba- 
listic Doctrines 83-88 

II. SONS OP THE WIDOW. in. Origin of Religion of Love. 112. Manes. 

113. Manichaeism. 114. Life of Manes. 115. Progress of Mani- 
chseism. 116. Doctrines. 117. Spread of Religion of Love . 89-93 


III. THE GNOSTICS. 118. Character of Gnosticism. 119. Doctrines. 

1 20. Development of Gnosticism. 12 1. Spirit of Gnosticism . 94-96 

IV. THE ESSENES. 122. Connection of Judaism and Gnosticism. 123. 
Essenes and Therapeutse. 124. Their Tenets and Customs. 125. Dis- 
tinction between the Two Sects 97~99 



I. CHRISTIAN INITIATIONS. 126. Myth of Horus Christianised. 127. 

Christian Mysteries. 128. Similarity of Christian with Pagan Rites. 
129. Christian Symbols taken from Pagan Symbols. 130. Celebration 
of the Mysteries. 131. Astronomical Meaning of Christianity. 132. 
Prometheus Bound. 133. Abolition of Mysteries . . . 103-107 

II. THE APOCALYPSE. 134. The Apocalypse. 135. Pagan Impostors 108-110 



I. THE LODGE OF WISDOM. 136. Legend of the Mahdi. 137. Abdallah, 

the first Pontiff. 138. Origin of Quarmatites. 139. Origin of Fati- 
mite Dynasty. 140. The Lodge of Cairo. 141. Progress of Doc- 
trines 113-115 

II. THE ASSASSINS. 142. Foundation of Order. 143. Influence of Hassan. 

144. Degrees of the Order. 145. Devotion of Followers. 146. The 
Imaginary Paradise. 147. Sanguinary Character of Hassan. 148. 
Further Instances of Devotion in Followers. 149. Murder of Raschid- 
addin's Ambassador. 150. Suppression of Assassins. 151. Modern 
Assassins. 152. A Modern Assassin Chief. 153. Christian Princes 
in League with Assassins 116-122 

III. THE ROSHENIAH. 154. The Rosheniah Sect and its Founder. 155. 
Death of Bayezid. 156. Extinction of Sect .... 123-125 

IV. THE DRUSES. 157. Origin of Sect of Druses. 158. Religious Books 
of the Druses. 159. Murder of Hakem. 160. Hakem's Successor. 
161. Doctrines. 162. Customs of the Druses. 163. Druses and Maro- 
nites. 164. The Ansaireeh or Nuseiriyeh 126-131 

V. THE DERVISHES. 165. Dervishes. 166. Shiites and Sunnites. 167. 

Doctrines 132, 133 





HEKETICS. 168. Transition from Ancient to Modern Initiations. 169. 
Spirit of Ancient and Modern Secret Societies. 170. The Circum- 
cellians. 171. The Albigenses. 172. Objects of the Albigenses. 173. 
Tenets of the Albigenses. 174. Aims of the Albigenses. 175. The 
Cathari. 176. Doctrines and Tenets. 177. Persecution of the Cathari. 
178. The Waldenses or Vaudois. 179. Luciferians. 180. Origin of 
Devil-worship 181. Religion of the Troubadours. 182. Difficulty to 
understand the Troubadours. 183. Poetry of Troubadours. 184. 
Degrees among Troubadours. 185. Courts of Love . . . 137-145 



I. CHIVALRY. 186. Original Aim. 187. Knights the Military Apostles of 

the Religion of Love. 188. Tenets and Doctrines . . . 149-151 

II. THE TEMPLAKS. 189. Foundation of the Order. 190. Progress of 

the Order. 191. Account of Commanderies. 192. Imputations against 
the Order. 193. Plots against the Order. 194. Attentions paid to 
Grand Master. 195. Charges against the Templars. 196. Burning 
of Knights. 197. James de Molay. 198. Mysteries of the Knights 
Templars. 199. The Temple and the Church. 200. Initiation. 201. 
Cursing and Spitting on the Cross Explained. 202. Charge of Licen- 
tious Practices. 203. The Templars the Opponents of the Pope. 204. 
Baphomet. 205. Disposal of the Possessions of the Templars . 152-160 



I. THE HOLT VEHM. 206. Origin and Object of Institution. 207. Places for 

Holding Courts. 208. Officers and Organisations. 209. Language and 
Rules of Initiated. 210. Procedure. 211. Execution of Sentences. 
212. Decay of the Institution. 213. Kissing the Virgin . . 163168 

II. THE BEATI PAOLI. 214. Character of the Society. 215. Tendencies 

and Tenets. 2 1 6. Account of a Sicilian Writer .... 169-171 

III. THE INQUISITION. 217. Introductory. 218. Early existence of an In- 
quisition. 219. Council held at Toulouse. 220. Establishment of 
the Inquisition. 221. Progress of Institution. 222. Judicial Pro- 



cedure of the Inquisition. 223. Palace of the Inquisition. 224. Tor- 
tures. 225. Condemnation and Execution of Prisoners. 226. 
Procession of the Auto-da-fe. 227. History continued. 228. General 
History of Institution continued. 229. Englishmen Imprisoned by the 
Inquisition. 230. History continued. 231. History continued. 232. 
Reflections. 233. Abolition of the Inquisition. 234. Restoration and 
Final Abolition. 235. The False Nuncio. 236. The Inquisition in 
various Countries. 237. Apologists of the Inquisition . . . 172-193 



I. ALCHYMISTS. 238. Astrology perhaps Secret Heresy. 239. Process by 

which Astrology degenerated. 240. Scientific Value of Alchymy. 
241. The Tincture. 242. Aims of Alchymy. 243. History of Alchymy. 
244. Still, Alchymists formed Secret Societies. 245. Decay of Alchymy. 
246. Specimens of Alchymistic Language. 247. Personal Fate of 
the Alchymists 197-202 

II. JACOB BOHME. 248. Parallel between Mystics and Sectaries. 249. 

Character and Mission of Mystics. 250. Merits of Bohme. 251. 
Bohme's Influence. 252. Sketch of Bohme's Life. 253. The Phila- 
delphians 203-208 

III. EMANUEL SWEDENBORG. 254. Emanuel Swedenborg. 255. His 
Writings and Theories. 256. Rationale of Swedenborg's Writings. 
257. The New Jerusalem. 258. The Correspondences. 259. Various 
Swedenborgian Sects. 260. Illuminati of Avignon. 261. Illuminated 
Theosophists. 262. Philosophic Scotch Rite. 263. Rite of the 
Philalethes. 264. Rite of , Swedenborg. 265. Universal Aurora 211-216 

IV. MARTINISM. 266. Martinez Paschalis. 267. Saint-Martin . 217-218 

V. ROSICRUCIANS. 268. Merits of the Rosicrucians. 269. Origin of the 

Society doubtful. 270. Rosicrucian Literature. 271. Real Objects 
and Results of Andrea's Writings. 272. Ritual and Ceremonies. 
273. Rosicrucianism in England in the Past. 274. Origin of Name. 
275. Statements concerning themselves. 276. Poetical Fictions of 
Rosicrucians. 277. The Hague Lodge. 278. A Rosicrucian MS. 
279. New Rosicrucian Constitution. 280. The Duke of Saxe- Weimar 
and other Rosicrucians 219-230 

VI. ASIATIC BRETHREN. 281. Origin of the Order. 282. Division of this 
Order. 283. Initiation into this Degree. 284. Second Chief Degree, 
Wise Masters. 285. Third Chief Degree, or Royal Priests, or True 
Rosicrucians, or the Degree of Melchisedeck. 286. Organisation of the 
Order. 287. Rosicrucian Adventurers. 288. Theoretical Brethren. 
289. Spread of Rosicrucianism. 290. Transition to Freemasons. 291. 
Progress and Extinction of Rosicrucians. 292. Rosicrucians in the 
Mauritius. 293. Modern English Rosicrucians .... 231-241 





I. THE THUGS. 294. Introductory. 295. Name and Origin. 296. Prac- 

tices and Worship of Thugs. 297. Traditions. 298. Initiation. 299. 
Suppression. 300. Recent Instance of Thuggism . . . 245-251 

II. THE CHAUFFEUKS, OR BURNERS. 301. Origin and Organisation of 

Society. 302. Religious and Civil Ceremonies. 303. The Grand 
Master. 304. Discovery of the Society. 305. Death of an old 
Chauffeur 252-256 

III. THE GARDUNA. 306. Origin of the Society. 307. Organisation. 308. 
Spirit of the Society. 309. Signs, Legend, &c. 310. Suppression of 

the Societ} 7 . 311. Bandits insuring Travellers' Safety . . 257-263 

IV. THE CAMORRA. 312. Origin of the Camorra. 313. Different kinds of 
Camorra. 314. Degrees of the Society. 315. Ceremony of Reception. 
316. Centres. 317. Cant Terms of the Camorra. 318. Unwritten 
Code of the Camorra. 319. The Camorra in the Prisons. 320. The 
Camorra in the Streets. 321. Social Causes of the Camorra. 322. The 
Political Camorra. 323. Attempted Suppression of the Camorra. 
324. Renewed Measures against the Camorra. 325. Murders by 
Camorristi 264-274 

V. MALA VITA. 326. The Mala Vita 275,276 

VI. THE MAFIA. 327. The Mafia's Code of Honour. 328. Origin of the 
Mafia. 329. Origin of the term Mafia. 330. The Mafia in the United 
States 277-281 

VII. BEGGARS, TRAMPS, AND THIEVES. 331. Languages and Signs. 332. 
Italian and German Robbers 282-284 

VIII. THE JESUITS. 333. Reasons for calling Jesuitism Secret and Anti- 
Social. 334. Analogy between Jesuitism and Freemasonry. 335. 
Initiations. 336. Blessing the Dagger. 337. Similar Monkish Initia- 
tions. 338. Secret Instructions. 339. Authenticity of "Secreta 
Monita " Demonstrated. 340. Jesuitic Morality . . . 285-291 

IX. THE SKOPZI. 341. Various Russian Sects. 342. The Skopzi. 
343. The Legend of Selivanoff. 344. Historical Foundation of the 
Legend. 345. Diffusion of the Sect. 346. Creed and Mode of 
Worship. 347. The Baptism of Fire. 348. Failure of the Prosecu- 
tion of the Sect 292-300 

X. THE CANTERS OR MUCKERS. 349. Eva von Buttler and her Sect. 

350. Schonherr's Sect 301, 302 





I. ILLUMINATI. 351. The Term Illuminati. 352. Foundation of Order. 

353. Organisation. 354. Initiation into the Degree of Priest. 355. 
Initiation into the Degree of Regent. 356. The Greater Mysteries. 
357. Nomenclature and Secret Writing of Order. 358. Secret Papers 
and Correspondence. 359. Refutation of Charges. 360. Suppres- 
sion. 361. Illuminati in France. 362. Ceremonies of \ Initiation. 
363. Credibility of above Account 305-314 

II. THE GERMAN UNION. 364. Statements of Founder . . . 315, 316 

III. FRENCH WORKMEN'S UNIONS. 365. Organisation of Workmen's 
Unions. 366. Connection with Freemasonry. 367. Decrees against 
Workmen's Unions. 368. Traditions. 369. Names and Degrees. 
370. General Customs. 371. Customs among Charcoal-burners and 
Hewers. 372. Customs in various other Trades .... 317-324 

IV. GERMAN WORKMEN'S UNIONS. 373. Huntsman's Phraseology. 374. 
Initiation. 375. Initiation of Cooper. 376. Curious Works on the 
Subject. 377. Raison d'etre of the Compagnonnage. 378. Guilds. 
379. Kalends Brethren. 380. Knights of Labour . . . 325-330 

V. GERMAN STUDENTS. 381. Customs of German Students. 382. Ancient 

Custom of Initiation SSJ-SSS 


THIS is not so much a second edition of my book on Secret 
Societies published in 1875 as an almost entirely new work. 
When the first edition was published, some of the societies 
had scarcely any history. Of the Nihilists, for instance, the 
account now given, recording their doings within the last 
eighteen years, fills many pages of this work. The story of 
other societies, active even then, such as the Fenians, had to 
be brought down to date, and yielded much new matter. 

I have thought it desirable to give fuller particulars of 
certain societies than I had given in the first edition, such as 
the Jesuits, for instance the new matter having either 
been kept back, or being the result of further research. 

Accounts of societies not included in the first edition will 
be found here. I may instance "Grata Repoa," " Rosheniah," 
and "Skopzi." 

A few of the articles of the first edition have been reduced ; 
such, for instance, as that on the Paris Commune, which has 
not now that immediate interest its then recent activity 
imparted to it. 

Great changes have also been made in the arrangement of 
the matter. 

Secret Societies may be arranged either chronologically, or 
locally, or topically. Each arrangement has its advantages 
and disadvantages ; the former are obvious, the latter may 
be stated thus : 

By arranging societies according to chronology, those 
which are topically connected or identical will sometimes 
be placed at so great a distance as to impair the continuity 
of interest. By arranging them locally, the chronological 
connection must suffer ; and by arranging them according 
to subjects or topics, the reader obtains no clear view of 
the sequence of events. I have therefore endeavoured 
to combine the three modes of representing the great 
drama of Secret Societies by making the topical arrange- 
ment its basis, and on that marshalling the societies first 
according to locality, and lastly according to time. Thus 



in the first Book of the work the topic is Ancient Mysteries 
and Religious Societies ; they are arranged according to 
localities, and the third consideration is the time. Therefore 
the Eastern Societies come first, in chronological order ; then 
the Western, in the same order ; so that the Magi of Persia 
form the first, and the Scandinavian Drottes of Europe the 
last in the list. 

A full list of authorities consulted being given, it has not 
been considered necessary to encumber the pages with foot- 
notes ; the general reader does not want them, and the student 
will know what work to refer to for verification. 

The work, as now presented to the public, is the result of 
twenty-five years' study and research, involving the acquisi- 
tion and collation of the English and foreign literature on 
the subject, and therefore claims to be a cyclopaedia of 
Secret Societies, giving concise, but quintessential, details 
of all worth recording, and omitting only those whose duration 
was ephemeral, and action trivial. 

C. W. H. 

October, 1896. 


FOR many years the fascinating subject of Secret Societies 
had engaged my attention, and it had long been my inten- 
tion to collect in a comprehensive work all the information 
that could be gathered from numerous, often remote, and 
sometimes almost inaccessible, sources concerning one of the 
most curious phases of the history of mankind those secret 
organisations, religious, political, and social, which have ex- 
isted from the most remote ages down to the present time. 
Before, however, I had arranged and digested my materials, 
a review in the Athenceum (No. 2196) directed my attention 
to the Italian work, " II Mondo Secreto," by Sign or De 
Castro, whom I have since then had the pleasure of meeting 
at Milan. I procured the book, and intended at first to give 
a translation of it; but though I began as a translator, my 
labours speedily assumed a more independent form. Much, 
I found, had to be omitted from an original coloured by a 
certain political bias, and somewhat too indulgent to various 
Italian political sects, who, in many instances, were scarcely 
more than hordes of brigands. Much, on the other hand, 
had to be added from sources, chiefly English and German, 
unknown to the Italian author ; much had to be placed on 
a different basis and in another light ; and again, many 
societies not mentioned by Signor De Castro had to be intro- 
duced to the reader, such as the Garduna, the Chauffeurs, 
Fenians, International, 0-Kee-Pa, Ku-Klux, Inquisition, 
Wahabees ; so that, with these additions, and the amplifica- 
tions of sections in the original Italian, forming frequently 
entirely new articles, the work, as it now is presented to the 
English public, though in its framework retaining much of 
its foreign prototype, may yet claim the merit of being not 
only essentially original, but the most comprehensive account 
of Secret Societies extant in English, French, German, or 
Italian, the leading languages of Europe ; for whatever has 
been written on the subject in any one of them has been 
consulted and put under contribution. In English there is 
no work that can at all compete with it, for the small book 


published in 1836 by Charles Knight, and entitled, "Secret 
Societies of the Middle Ages," embraces four societies only. 

The student who wishes for more ample information will 
have to consult the lists of authorities given at the head of 
each Book, as it was thought best not to encumber the text 
with foot-notes, which would have swelled the work to at 
least twice its present extent. The reader may rest satisfied 
that few statements are made which could not be supported 
by numerous and weighty authorities; though dealing as we 
do here with societies whose very existence depended on 
secrecy, and which, therefore, as a matter of policy, left 
behind them as little documentary evidence as possible, the 
old distich applies with peculiar force : 

" What is hits is history, 
And what is mist is mystery." 

Again, bearing in mind that the imperative compass of 
the work exacted a concise setting forth of facts ranging 
as the subject does over a surface so vast I have been care- 
ful to interrupt the narrative only by such comments and 
reflections as would seem almost indispensable for clearing 
up obscurities or supplying missing historical links. 

It may at first appear as if some societies had improperly 
been inserted in this work as "secret" societies; the Free- 
masons, for instance. Members of secret associations, it 
might be objected, are not in the habit of proclaiming their 
membership to the world, but no Freemason is ashamed or 
afraid of avowing himself such ; nay, he is rather proud of 
the fact, and given to proclaim it somewhat obtrusively ; yet 
the most rabid Celt, who wishes to have a hand in the re- 
generation of his native land by joining the Fenian brother- 
hood, has sense enough to keep his affiliation a profound 
secret from the uninitiated. But the rule I have followed in 
adopting societies as " secret" was to include in my collection 
all such as had or have " secret rites and ceremonies " kept 
from the outer world, though the existence of the society 
itself be no secret at all. In fact, no association of men can 
for any length of time remain a secret, since however anxious 
the members may be to shroud themselves in darkness, and 
remain personally unknown, the purpose for which they band 
together must always betray itself by some overt acts ; and 
wherever there is an act, the world surmises an agent ; and if 
none that is visible can be found, a secret one is suspected. 
The Thugs, for instance, had every desire to remain un- 


known ; yet the fact of the existence of such a society was 
suspected long before any of its members were discovered. 
On the principle also of their being the propounders of 
secret doctrines, or doctrines clothed in language under- 
stood by the adepts alone, Alchyrnists and Mystics have 
found places in this work; and the Inquisition, though a 
state tribunal, had its secret agents and secret procedure, 
and may therefore justly be included in the category of 
Secret Societies. 

Secret Societies, religious and political, are again spring- 
ing up on many sides: the religious may be dismissed 
without comment, as they are generally without any novelty 
or significance, but those that have political objects ought 
not to be disregarded as without importance. The Inter- 
national, Fenians, Communists, Nihilists, Wahabees, are 
secretly aiming at the overthrow of existing governments 
and the present order of things. The murders of English- 
men perpetrated by native Indians point to the machinations 
of secret societies in British India. Before the outbreak of 
the great Indian mutiny English newspaper correspondents 
spoke rather contemptuously of some religious ceremony 
observed throughout British India of carrying small loaves 
from village to village, but this ceremony was the summons 
to the people to prepare for the general rising ; hence the 
proceedings of the natives should be closely watched. 

November, 1874. 

VOL. I. 


N.B. The books to the titles of which an * is prefixed are in the author's 

own library. 


ANQUETIL. Zend-Avesta. Paris, 1771. 

*APULEIUS. Les Metamorphoses, ou I 1 ane d'or, Traduites en Franais 
par Victor Betoland. Paris, 1873. 

*Bacchus Elucidated ; or, The Gospel according to the Heathen. Lon- 
don, 1864. 
BARTH. Ueber die Druiden. Erlau, 1826. 

BEAL, S. A Catena of Buddhist Scriptures, from the Chinese. Lon- 
don, 1871. 

The Komantic Legend of Sakya Buddha. London, 1875. 

*BJORNSTJERNA, Count M. The Theogony of the Hindoos, with their 
systems of Philosophy and Cosmogony. 8vo. 1884. 

*BOULANGER, M. L'Antiquite Devoilee. Three vols. Amsterdam^ 


*BREDOW, G. G. Handbuch der alten Geschichte. Altona, 1837. 
*BRYANT, J. New System of Ancient Mythology. Six vols. Plates. 

London, 1807. 

Ceesar de Bell. Gall., vi. 12, 13. The Druids. 

CATTANEO, C. Le Origine Italiche illustrate coi libri sacri dell' Antica 


COLEBROOKE. Essay on the Philosophy of India. 1853. 
*DUPCIS, C. F. Origine de tous les Cultes. Paris, 1869. 
EICHHORN. De Solo Invicto Mithras. 
FABER. Horee Mosaica?. Oxford, 1801. 

- Mysteries of the Cabiri. Oxford, 1 803. 
HAMMER. Memoire sur le Culte de Mithra. Paris, 1833. 
*HEDERICH, B. Lexicon Mythologicum. Leipzig, 1741. 
HIGGINS. Celtic Druids. London, 1829. 
HYDE. De Keligione Veterum Persarum. Oxford, 1700. 
JACOBI, H. Der Buddhismus und seine Geschichte. Leipzig, 1882, &c. 


JACOBI, H. The Kalpa Sutra of Bhadrabahu ; or, The Jain Gospels. 

Leipzig, 1879. 

JENNINGS. Jewish Antiquities. London, 1766. 
JONES. Extracts from the Vedas. 

*KANNE, J. A. System der Indischen Mythe. Leipzig, 1813. 
LASSEN. Gymnosophista. Bonn, 1832. 
*LENORMANT, F. II Mito di Adone-Tammuz nei Document! Cunei- 

formi. Firenze, 1879. 
* Chaldean Magic ; its Origin and Development. Translated 

from the French. London, 1877. 
*Lucius, P. E. Der Essenismus. Strasburg, 1881. 
LYDE, S. The Ansyreeh and Ismalech ; a Visit to the Secret Sects of 

Northern Syria. London, 1853. 

The Asian Mystery : illustrated in the History, Eeligion, arid 

Present State of the Ansayreeh or Nusairis of Syria. London, 

*MACKEY, A. G. Lexicon of Freemasonry. London, 1867. 
^MAURICE, THOS. Indian Antiquities. Five vols. Plates. London, 

History of Hindostan. Three vols. 4to. Plates. London, 1795. 

MEYER. Der Tempel Solomons. Berlin, 1 830. 

MULLER. Mithras. Wiesbaden, 1833. 

*MULLER, MAX. Lecture on Buddhist Nihilism. London, 1869. 

- OLIVER. History of Initiation. London, 1841. 
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Ignis ubique latet, naturam amplectitur omnem 
Cuncta parit, renovat, dividit, urit, alit." 

VOL. I. 



1. Intelligibility and Nature of Secret Societies. Secret 
Societies once were as necessary as open societies : the tree 
presupposes a root. Beside the empire of Might, the idols of 
fortune, the fetishes of superstition, there must in every age 
and state have existed a place where the empire of Might 
was at an end, where the idols were no longer worshipped, 
where the fetishes were derided. Such a place was the closet 
of the philosopher, the temple of the priest, the subterranean 
cave of the sectary. 

2. Classification of Secret Societies. Secret societies may 
be classed under the following heads : I. Eeligious : such as 
the Egyptian or Eleusinian Mysteries. 2. Military : Knights 
Templars. 3. Judiciary: Vehmgerichte. 4. Scientific: Al- 
chymists. 5. Civil: Freemasons. 6. Political: Carbonari. 
7. Anti-Social : Garduna. But the line of division is not 
always strictly defined; some that had scientific objects com- 
bined theological dogmas therewith as the Eosicrucians, for 
instance; and political societies must necessarily influence 
civil life. We may therefore more conveniently range secret 
societies in the two comprehensive divisions of religious and 

3. Eeligious Societies. Eeligion has had its secret societies 
from the most ancient times; they date, in fact, from the 
period when the true religious knowledge which, be it 
understood, consisted in the knowledge of the constitution 
of the universe and the Eternal Power that had produced, 
and the laws that maintained it possessed by the first men 
began to decay among the general mass of mankind. The 
genuine knowledge was to a great extent preserved in the 
ancient "Mysteries," though even these were already a 
degree removed from the first primeval native wisdom, since 


they represented only the type, instead of the archetype; - 
namely, the phenomena of outward temporal Nature, instead of 
the realities of the inward eternal Nature, of which this visible 
universe is the outward manifestation. Since the definition 
of this now recovered genuine knowledge is necessary for 
understanding much that was taught in the religious societies 
of antiquity, we shall, further on, enter into fuller details 
concerning it. 

4. Political Societies. Politically, secret societies were the 
provident temperers and safety valves of the present and the 
powerful levers of the future. Without them the monologue 
of absolutism alone would occupy the drama of history, ap- 
pearing, moreover, without an aim, and producing no effect, 
if it had not exercised the will of man by inducing reaction 
and provoking resistance. 

Every secret society is an act of reflection, therefore, of 
conscience. For reflection, accumulated and fixed, is con- 
science. In so far, secret societies are in a certain manner 
the expression of conscience in history. For every man has 
in himself a Something which belongs to him, and which yet 
seems as if it were not a thing within him, but, so to speak, 
without him. This obscure Something is stronger than he, 
and he cannot rebel against its dominion nor withdraw him- 
self, or fly, from its search. This part of us is intangible ; 
the assassin's steel, the executioner's axe cannot reach it ; 
allurements cannot seduce, prayers cannot soften, threats 
cannot terrify it. It creates in us a dualism, which makes 
itself felt as remorse. When man is virtuous, he feels him- ~O 
self one, at peace with himself ; that obscure Something / 
does neither oppress nor torture him: just as in physical 
nature the powers of man's body, when working in harmony, 
are unfelt (n); but when his actions are evil, his better 
part rebels. Now secret societies are the expression of this 
dualism reproduced on a grand scale in nations; they are 
that obscure Something of politics acting in the public 
conscience, and producing a remorse, which shows itself as 
" secret society," an avenging and purifying remorse. It 
regenerates through death, and brings forth light through 
fire, out of darkness, according to eternal laws. No one 
discerns it, yet every man may feel it. It may be compared 
to an invisible star, whose light, however, reaches us ; to the 
heat coming from a region where no human foot will ever 
be placed, but which we feel, and can demonstrate with the 

Indeed, one of the most obvious sentiments that gives 


rise to secret societies is that of revenge, but good and wise 
revenge, different from personal rancour, unknown, where 
popular interests are in question ; that desires to punish in- 
stitutions and not individuals, to strike ideas and not men / 
the grand collective revenge, the inheritance that fathers 
transmit to their children, a pious legacy of love, that sanc- 
tifies hatred and enlarges the responsibility and character of 
man. For there is a legitimate and necessary hatred, that . 
of evil, which forms the salvation of nations. Woe to the 
people that knows not how to hate, because intolerance, 
hypocrisy, superstition, slavery are evil ! 

5. Aims of Political Societies. The aim of the sectaries is 
the erection of the ideal temple of progress ; to fecundate in 
the bosom of sleeping or enslaved peoples the germs of a 
future liberty, as the Nihilists are now doing in Russia. 
This glorious edifice, it is true, is not yet finished, and per- 
haps never will be ; but the attempt itself invests secret 
societies with a moral grandeur ; whereas, without such aim, 
their struggle would be debased into a paltry egotistical 
party-fight. It also explains and justifies the existence of 
secret societies. And to them many states owe not only 
their liberties, but their very existence. As modern in- 
stances, I may mention Greece and Italy. 

6. Heligious Secret Societies. But the earliest secret 
societies were not formed for political, so much as for re- 
ligious purposes, embracing every art and science ; wherefore 
religion has truly been called the archaeology of human 
knowledge. Comparative mythology reduces all the appa- 
rently contradictory and opposite creeds to one primeval, 
fundamental, and true comprehension of Nature and her laws ; 
all the metamorphoses of one or more gods, recorded in the 
sacred books of the Hindoos, Parsees, Egyptians, and of 
other nations, are indeed founded on simple physical facts, 
disfigured and misrepresented, intentionally or accidentally. /J 
The true comprehension of Nature was the prerogative of the 
most highly developed of all races of men (10), viz., the Aryan / 
races, whose seat was on the highest point of the mountain 
region of Asia, to the north of the Himalayas. South of 
these lies the Vale of Cashmere, whose eternal spring, won- 
derful wealth of vegetation, and general natural features, 
best adapt it to represent the earthly paradise and the bliss- 
ful residence of the most highly favoured human beings. 

7. Most perfect human Type. So highly favoured, precisely 
because Nature in so favoured a spot could only develop in 
course of time a superior type ; which being, as it were, the 


quintessence of that copious Nature, was one with it, and 
therefore able to apprehend it and its fulness. For as the 
powers of Nature have brought forth plants and animals of 
different degrees of development and perfection, so they 
have produced various types of men in various stages of de- 
velopment; the most perfect being, as already mentioned, 
the Aryan or Caucasian type, the only one that has a history, 
and the one that deserves our attention when inquiring into 
the mental history of mankind. For even where the Cauca- 
sian comes in contact and intermingles with a dark race, as 
in India and Egypt, it is the white man with whom the 
higher and historical development begins. 

8. Causes of high Mental Development. I have already in- 
timated that climatic and other outward circumstances are 
favourable to high development. This is universally known 
to be true of plants ; but man is only a plant endowed with 
consciousness and mobility, and therefore it must be true of 
him ; and, in fact, experience proves it. The organs, and 
especially the brain of the Caucasian, attain to the highest 
perfection, and therefore he is most fully able to apprehend 
Nature and understand its working. 

As to how long it took man to arrive at a high state of 
mental development, it is sheer waste of time and ingenuity 
to speculate about how long did it take the spider to learn 
how to construct his web so skilfully ? as it is a vain at- 
tempt to discover the time of man's first appearance and 
condition on earth ; even the stale cabbage of protoplasm, 
warmed up by Darwin, will not help us to solve the riddle. 
The only certainty we have from monumental and quasi- 
literary remains, is that many thousand years ago man pos- 
sessed high scientific knowledge, which, originally arisen in 
the East, gradually travelled westward, and on the journey to 
a great extent was lost. It may seem strange that such 
knowledge should be lost ; but as we have a striking instance 
of such loss in historic times, the strange phenomenon be- 
comes credible. What succeeded the splendours of classic 
erudition, science and art, but the mental night known as 
the Dark Ages ! the outcome of priestly prejudice, oppres- 
sion, and obscurantism. It will suffice to quote one fact in 
support of our argument. Thousands of years before our 
era the Chaldeans were acquainted with the roundness of the 
earth, and that its extent from east to west was greater than 
that from north to south ; they also knew its circumference, 
which they fixed by saying that a man, if he walked steadily 
on, could go round it in one year of 365 days. Now, reckon- 


ing the circumference at 24,900 miles, it is easily seen that 
a man, walking at about three miles an hour, would perform 
the journey within very little of a year. What had become 
of this knowledge when the learned (?) friars, disputing at 
Salamanca with Columbus, maintained the earth to be flat ? 

I have lying before me a map of Africa, printed in 1 642 (in 
Blaew's Novus Atlas), in which the lakes in the interior of 
that continent, together with its rivers, towns, and villages, 
which are supposed to have been discovered in this century 
only, are accurately laid down how came this knowledge, 
more than 250 years old, to be lost ? But lost it was, for 
on maps issued in the early part of this century the interior 
of Africa is a blank. ^^___ ? 

Therefore I am justified in saying that in prehistoric 
times man possessed a true knowledge of Nature and her 
workings, and that this is the reason why the mysteries of 
the most distant nations had so much in common, dogma- 
tically and internally, and why in all so much importance 
was attached to certain figures and ideas, and why all 
were funereal. The sanctity attributed in all ages and all 
countries to the number seven has not been correctly ex- 
plained by any known writer ; * the elucidations I shall offer 
on this point, will show that the conformity with each other 
of the religious and scientific doctrines of nations far apart 
must be due to their transmission from one common source, 
though the enigmatical and mystical forms, in which this 
knowledge was preserved, were gradually taken for the facts 

The reader will now see that these remarks, the object of 
which he may not have perceived at first, are not irrelevant ; 
we cannot understand the origin and meaning of what was 
taught in the mysteries without a clear apprehension of 
man's primitive culture and knowledge. 

9. Primitive Culture. As a rule, prehistoric ages seem 
obscure, and men fancy, that, at every retrogressive step, 
they must enter into greater darkness. But if we proceed 
with our eyes open, the darkness recedes like the horizon, 
as we seem to approach it ; new light is added to our light, 
new suns are lit up, new auroras arise before us ; the dark- 
ness, which is only light compacted, is dissolved into its 
original, viz., light ; and as outwardness implies multi- 
plicity, and inwardness unity there are many branches, 
but only one root so all religious creeds, even those most 

1 Except, of course, the one from whom I derive my information, Jacob 
Bohme, concerning whom see infra. 


disguised in absurd and debasing rites and superstitions, 
the nearer we trace them to their source, appear in greater 
and greater purity and nobility, with more exalted views, 
doctrines, and aims. For as Tegner says 

"... kanslan's grundton ar anda densamma." 
The fundamental tone of feeling is ever the same. 

And as the same poet expresses it, antiquity is 

"... det Atlantis som gick under 
Med hb'gre kraft, med adlare begar." 

. . . That Atlantis that perished 
With higher powers and nobler aims. 

Thus the ethic odes of Buddha and Zoroaster have been 
regarded as anticipations of the teaching of Christianity ; 
so that even St. Augustin remarked: "What is now called 
the Christian religion existed among the ancients, and was 
not absent from the beginning of the human race until 
Christ came, from which time the true religion, which 
existed already, began to be called Christian." 

Again, through all the more elevated creeds there ran 
certain fundamental ideas which, differing and even some- 
times distorted in form, may yet in a certain sense be re- 
garded as common to all. Such were the belief in a Trinity ; 
the dogma that the "Logos," or omnific Word, created all 
things by making the Nothing manifest ; the worship of 
light ; the doctrine of regeneration by passing through the 
fire, and others. 

10. The true Doctrines of Nature and Being. But what 
was the knowledge on which the teaching of the mysteries 
was founded ? It was no less than that of the ground and 
geniture of all things ; the whole state, the rise, the work- 
ings, and the progress of all Nature (16), together with the 
unity that pervades heaven and earth. A few years ago 
this was proclaimed with great sound of trumpets as a new 
discovery, although so ancient an author as Homer speaks, 
in the 8th book of the "Iliad," of the golden chain connect- 
ing heaven and earth; the golden chain of sympathy, the 
occult, all-pervading, all-uniting influence, called by a 
variety of names, such as anima mundi, mercurius philo- 
sophorum, Jacob's ladder, the vital magnetic series, the 
magician' s fire, &c. This knowledge, in course of time, and 


through man's love of change, was gradually distorted by 
perverse interpretations, and overlaid or embroidered, as it 
were, with fanciful creations of man's own brain ; and thus 
arose superstitious systems, which became the creed of the 
unthinking crowd, and have not lost their hold on the public 
mind, even to this day keeping in spiritual thraldom myriads 
who tremble at a thousand phantoms conjured up by priest- 
craft and their own ignorance, whilst 

" Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas ; 
Atque metus omnes et inexorabile fatum 
Subjecit pedibus, strepitumque Acherontis avari." 

II. Fundamental Principles of true Knowledge possessed by 
the Ancients. From what was taught in the mysteries, we 
are justified in believing that thousands of years ago men 
knew what follows ; though the knowledge is already 
dimmed and perverted in the mysteries, the phenomena 
of outward Nature only being presented in them, instead 
of the inward spiritual truths symbolised. 

(i.) All around us we behold the evidences of a life per- 
meating all things; we must needs, therefore, admit that 
there is a universal, all-powerful, all- sustaining life. 

(ii.) Behind or above the primeval life which is the basis 
of this system may be beheld the " Unmoved Mover," the 
only supernatural ens, who, by the Word, or " Logos," has 
spoken forth all things out of himself; which does not 
imply any pantheism, for the words of the speaker, though 
proceeding from him, are not the speaker himself. 

(iii.) The universal life is eternal. 

(iv.) Matter is eternal, for matter is the garment in which 
the life clothes and renders itself manifest. 

(v.) That matter is light, for the darkest substance is, or 
can be, reduced into it. 

(vi.) Whatsoever is outwardly manifest must have existed 
ideally, from all eternity, in an archetypal figure, reflected in 
what Indian mythology calls the Eternal Liberty, the mirror 
Maja t whence are derived the terms "magus," "magia," 
"magic," "image," "imagination," all implying the fixing 
of the primeval, structureless, imperceptible, living matter, 
in a form, figure, or creature. In modern theosophy, the 
mirror Maja is called the Eternal Mirror of Wonders, the 
Virgin Sophia, ever bringing forth, yet ever a virgin the 
analogue and prototype of the Virgin Mary. 

(vii.) The eternal life which thus manifests itself in this 


visible universe is ruled by the same laws that rule the 
invisible world of forces. 

(viii.) These laws, according to which the life manifests 
itself, are the seven properties of eternal Nature, six working 
properties, and the seventh, in which the six, as it were, 
rest, or are combined into perfect balance or harmony, i.e., 
paradise. These seven properties, the foundation of all 
the septenary numbers running through natural phenomena 
and all ancient and modern knowledge, are : (i) Attraction ; 
(2) Reaction or Repulsion; (3) Circulation; (4) Fire; (5) 
Light ; (6) Sound ; (7) Body, or comprisal of all. 

(ix.) This septenary is divisible into two ternaries or poles, 
with the fire (symbolised by a cross) in the middle. These 
two poles constitute the eternal dualism or antagonism in 
Nature the first three forming matter or darkness, and 
producing pain and anguish, i.e., hell, cosmically winter ; the 
last three being filled with light and delight, i.e., paradise, 
cosmically summer. 

(x.) The fire is the great chymist, or purifier and trans- 
muter of Nature, turning darkness into light. Hence the 
excessive veneration and universal worship paid to it by 
ancient nations, the priests of Zoroaster wearing a veil over 
their mouths for fear of polluting the fire with their breath. 
By the fire here, of course, is meant the empyrean, electric 
fire, whose existence and nature were tolerably well known 
to the ancients. They distinguished the moving principle 
from the thing moved, and called the former the igneous 
ether or spirit, the principle of life, the Deity, You-piter, 
Vulcan, Phtha, Kneph (18, 24). 

(xi.) All light is born out of darkness, and must pass 
through the fire to manifest itself ; there is no other way but 
through darkness, or death, or hell an idea which we find 
enunciated and represented in all the mysteries. As little 
as a plant can come forth into the beauty of blossoms, leaves, 
and fruit, without having passed through the dark state of 
the seed and being buried in the earth, where it is chymi- 
cally transmuted by the fire ; so little can the mind arrive at 
the fulness of knowledge and enlightenment without having 
passed through a stage of self-darkening and imprisonment, 
in which it suffered torment, anguish in which it was as in 
a furnace, in the throes of generation. 

12. Key to Mystic Teaching. That the first men possessed 
the knowledge of the foregoing facts is certain, not only 
from the positive and inferential teachings of the mysteries, 
but also from the monuments of antiquity, which in grandeur 


of conception and singleness of ideal aim, excel all that 
modern art or industry, or even faith, has accomplished. By- 
bearing this in mind, the reader will get a deeper insight 
into the true meaning of the dogmas of initiation than was 
attainable by the epopts themselves. He will also understand 
that the reason why there was so much uniformity in the 
teaching of the mysteries was the fact that the dogmas 
enunciated were explanations of universal natural phenomena, 
alike in all parts of the earth. In describing the ceremonies 
of initiation, I shall therefore abstain from appending to 
them a commentary or exegesis, but simply refer to the 
paragraphs of this introduction, as to a key. 

13. Mystic Teaching summarised. It was theological, 
moral, and scientific. Theologically, the initiated were shown 
the error of vulgar polytheism, and taught the doctrine of 
the Unity and of a future state of reward and punishment ; 
morally, the precepts were summed up in the words of Con- 
fucius : "If thou be doubtful whether an action be right 
or wrong, abstain from it altogether;" scientifically, the 
principles were such as we have detailed above (n), with 
their natural and necessary deductions, consequences, and 

14. HOVJ true Knowledge came to ~be lost. Though I have 
already on several occasions (e.g., 10) alluded to the fact 
that the true knowledge of Nature possessed by the first men 
had in course of time become corrupted and intermixed with 
error, it will not be amiss to show the process by which this 
came to pass. It is well known that the oldest religious 
rites of which we have any written records were Sabasan or 
Helio-Arkite. The sun, moon, and stars, however, to the 
true original epopts were merely the outward manifestations 
and symbols of the inward powers of the Eternal Life. But 
such abstract truths could not be rendered intelligible to the 
vulgar mind of the multitude, necessarily more occupied with 
the satisfaction of material wants ; and hence arose the per- 
sonification of the heavenly bodies and terrestrial seasons 
depending on them. Gradually the human figure, which in 
the first instance had only been a symbol, came to be looked 
upon as the representation of an individual being, that had 
actually lived on earth. Thus, the sun, to the primitive 
men, was the outward manifestation of the Eternal, all-sus- 
taining, all-saving Life ; in different countries and ages this 
power was personified under the names of Chrisna, Fo, 
Osiris, Hermes, Hercules, and so on ; and eventually these 
latter were supposed to have been men that really existed, 


and had been deified on account of the benefits they had 
conferred on mankind. The tombs of these supposed gods 
were shown, such as the Great Pyramid, said to be the tomb 
of Osiris ; feasts were celebrated, the object of which seemed 
to be to renew every year the grief occasioned by their loss. 
The passing of the sun through the signs of the zodiac gave 
rise to the myths of the incantations of Vishnu, the labours 
of Hercules, &c., his apparent loss of power during the 
winter season, and the restoration thereof at the winter 
solstice, to the story of the death, descent into hell, and 
resurrection of Osiris and of Mithras. In fact, what was 
pure Nature-wisdom in one age became mythology in the 
next, and romance in the third, taking its characteristics 
from the country where it prevailed. The number seven 
being found everywhere, and the knowledge that its preva- ' 
lence was the necessary consequence of the seven properties ' 
of Nature being lost, it was supposed to have reference only 
to the seven planets then known. 

15. Original Spirit of the Mysteries, and Results of their ' 
Decay. In the mysteries all was astronomical, but a deeper W 
meaning lay hid under the astronomical symbols. While 
bewailing the loss of the sun, the epopts were in reality 
mourning the loss of that light whose influence is life ; whilst 
the working of the elements, according to the laws of elec- 
tive affinity, produces only phenomena of decay and death. 
The initiated strove to pass from under the dominion of the 
bond-woman Night into the glorious liberty of the free- 
woman Sophia or Light ; to be mentally absorbed into the 
Deity, i.e., into the Light. The dogmas of ancient Nature- 
wisdom were set before the pupil, but their understanding 
had to arise as inspiration in his soul. It was not the dead 
body of science that was surrendered to the epopt, leaving 
it to chance whether it quickened or not, but the living 
spirit itself was infused into him. But for this reason, 
because more had to be apprehended from within by inspira- 
tion, than from without, by oral instruction, the mysteries 
gradually decayed; the ideal yielded to the realistic, and 
the merely physical elements Sabseism and Arkism be- 
came their leading features. The frequent emblems and 
mementos in the sanctuary of death and resurrection, point- 
ing to the mystery that the moments of highest psychical 
enjoyment are the most destructive to bodily existence i.e., 
that the most intense delight is a glimpse of paradise these 
emblems and mementos eventually were applied to outward 
Nature only, and their misapprehension led to all the creeds 


or superstitions that have filled the earth with crime and 
woe, sanguinary wars, internecine cruelty, and persecution 
of every kind. Bloodthirsty fanatics, disputing about words 
whose meaning they did not understand, maintaining anta- 
gonistic dogmas, false on both sides, have invented the most 
fiendish tortures to compel their opponents to adopt their 
own views. While the two Mahommedan sects of Omar 
and Ali will fight each other to decide whether ablution 
ought to commence at the wrist or the elbow, they will 
unite to slay or to convert the Christians. Nay, even these 
latter, divided into sects without number, have distinguished 
themselves by persecutions as cruel as any ever practised by 
so-called pagan nations. Not satisfied with attempting to 
exterminate by fire and sword Turks and Jews, one Chris- 
tian sect established such a tribunal as the Inquisition ; 
whilst its opponents, scarcely less cruel, when they had the 
power, deprived the Roman Catholics of their civil rights, 
and occasionally executed them. Their mutual hatred even 
attends them in their missionary efforts very poor in their 
results, in spite of the sensational reports, manufactured by 
the societies at home, for extracting money from the public. 
To mention but one instance : a leading missionary endea- 
voured to prejudice the Polynesians in advance against some 
expected Roman Catholic missionaries by translating Foxe's 
" Book of Martyrs " into their language, and illustrating its 
scenes by the aid of a magic-lantern. 

1 6. The Mysteries under their Astronomical Aspect. But 
seeing that the mysteries, as they have come down to us, 
and are still perpetuated, in a corrupted and aimless manner, 
in Freemasonry, have chiefly an astronomical bearing, a 
few general remarks on the leading principles of all will 
save a deal of needless repetition in describing them 

In the most ancient Indian creed we have the story of the 
fall of mankind by tasting of the fruit of the tree of know- 
ledge, and their consequent expulsion from Paradise. This 
allegory was taken by the ignorant Jews for a record of 
actual occurrences, and as such interpolated in Genesis, 
about 900 years after the composition of that book, and 
after all the other books of the Old Testament had been 
written, whence it becomes plain why, contrary to all ex- 
pectation, the Fall of Man is never once alluded to in those 
books. Read in its mysterious and astronomical aspect, the 
narrative of the Fall, as given in the Book of Genesis, would 
assume some such form as the following: Adam, which 


does not mean an individual, but the universal man, man- 
kind, and his companion, Eve, which means life, having 
passed spring and summer in the Garden of Eden, neces- 
sarily reached the season when the serpent, Typhon (51), 
the symbol of winter, points out on the celestial sphere 
that the reign of Evil, of winter, is approaching. Allegorical 
science, which insinuated itself everywhere, caused malum, 
"evil," also to mean an "apple," the produce of autumn, 
which indicates that the harvest is over, and that man in 
the sweat of his brow must again till the earth. The cold 
season comes, and he must cover himself with the allegorical 
fig-leaf. The sphere revolves, the man of the constellation 
Bootes, the same as Adam, preceded by the woman, the 
Virgin, carrying in her hand the autumnal branch laden 
with fruit, seems to be allured or beguiled by her. A look 
at a celestial globe will render this quite plain. A sacred 
bough or plant is introduced into all the mysteries. We 
have the Indian and Egyptian lotus, the fig-tree of Atys, 
the myrtle of Venus, the mistletoe of the Druids, the golden 
bough of Virgil, the rose-tree of Isis ; in the " Golden 
Ass " Apuleius is restored to his natural form by eating 
roses the box of Palm-Sunday, and the acacia of Free- 
masonry. The bough in the opera " Roberto il Diavolo " is 
the mystic bough of the mysteries. 

17. Astronomical Aspects continued The Mysteries fune- 
real. In all the mysteries we encounter a god, a superior 
being, or an extraordinary man, suffering death, to recom- 
mence a more glorious existence ; everywhere the remem- 
brance of a grand and mournful event plunges the nations 
into grief and mourning, immediately followed by the most 
lively joy. Osiris is slain by Typhon, Uranus by Saturn, 
Sousarman by Sudra, Adonis by a wild boar; Ormuzd is 
conquered by Ahrimanes ; Atys and Mithras and Hercules 
kill themselves ; Abel is slain by Cain, Balder by Loke, Bac- 
chus by the giants ; the Assyrians mourn the death of Tham- 
muz, the Scythians and Phoenicians that of Acmon, all Nature 
that of the great Pan, the Freemasons that of Hiram, and so 
on. The origin of this universal belief has already been 
pointed out. 

1 8. Uniformity of Dogmas. The doctrine of the Unity 
and Trinity was inculcated in all the mysteries^ In the 
most ancient religious creeds we meet with the prototype 
of the Christian dogma, in which a virgin is seen bringing 
forth a saviour, and yet ever remaining a virgin (il). In 
the more outward sense, that virgin is the Virgo of the 


zodiac, and the saviour brought forth is the sun (17); in 
the most inward sense, it is the eternal ideal, wherein the 
eternal life and intelligence, the power of electricity, and the 
virtue of the tincture, the first the sustainer, the latter the 
beautifier of apprehensible existence, are, as it were, corpori- 
fied in the countless creatures that fill this universe yea, in 
the universe itself. And the virgin remains a virgin, and 
her own nature is not affected by it, just as the air brings 
forth sounds, the light colours, the mind ideas, without any 
of them being intrinsically altered by the production. We 
certainly do not find these principles so fully and distinctly 
enunciated in the teaching of the ancient mystagogues, but 
a primitive knowledge of them may be inferred from what 
they did teach. 

In all the mysteries, light was represented as born out of 
darkness. Thus reappears the Deity called now Maja Bhawani, 
now Kali, Isis, Ceres, Proserpina ; Persephone, the Queen of 
Heaven, is the night from whose bosom issues life, into which 
the life returns, a secret reunion of life and death. She is, 
moreover, called the Rosy, and in the German myths the 
Rosy is called the restoring principle of life. She is not 
only the night, but, as mother of the sun, she is also the 
aurora, behind whom the stars are shining. When she sym- 
bolises the earth as Ceres, she is represented with ears of 
corn. Like the sad Proserpina, she is beautiful and lustrous, 
but also melancholy and black. Thus she joins night with 
day, joy with sadness, the sun with the moon, heat with 
humidity, the divine with the human. The ancient Egyp- 
tians often represented the Deity by a black stone, and the 
black stone Kaabah, worshipped by the Arabs, and which is 
described as having originally been whiter than snow, and 
more brilliant than the sun, embodies the same idea, with 
the additional hint that light was anterior to darkness. In 
all the mysteries we meet with the cross (53) as a symbol of 
purification and salvation ; the numbers three, four, and seven 
were sacred ; in most of the mythologies we meet with two 
pillars; mystic banquets were common to all, as also the 
trials by fire, water, and air ; the circle and triangle, single 
and double, everywhere represented the dualism or polarity 
of Nature ; in all the initiations, the aspirant represented the 
good principle, the light, overcome by evil, the darkness ; 
and his task was to regain his former supremacy, to be born 
again or regenerated, by passing through death and hell and 
their terrors, that were scenically enacted during the neo- 
phyte's passage through seven caves, or ascent of seven steps. 


All this, in its deepest meaning, represented the eternal /* 
struggle of light to free itself from the encumbrance of 
materiality it has put on in its passage through the first 
three properties of eternal Nature (i i) ; and in its secondary 
meaning, when the deeper one was lost to mankind, the prog- 
ress of the sun through the seven signs of the zodiac, from 
Aries to Libra, as shown in Eoyal Arch Masonry, and also 
in the ladder with seven steps of the Knight of Kadosh. In 
all the mysteries the officers were the same, and personified 
astronomical or cosmical phenomena; in all, the initiated 
recognised each other by signs and passwords ; in all, the condi- 
tions for initiation were the same maturity of age, and purity 
of conduct. Nero, on this account, did not dare, when in 
Greece, to offer himself as a candidate for initiation into the 
Eleusinian Mysteries. In many, the chief hierophant was''y 
compelled to lead a retired life of perpetual celibacy, that he / } 
might be entirely at liberty to devote himself to the study / 
and contemplation of celestial things. And to accomplish 
this abstraction, it was customary for the priests, in the 
earlier periods of their history, to mortify the flesh by the 
use of certain herbs, which were reputed to possess the virtue 
of repelling all passionate excitements; to guard against 
which they even occasionally adopted severer and more de- 
cided precautions. In all countries where mysteries existed, 
initiation came to be looked upon as much a necessity as 
afterwards baptism among Christians ; which ceremony, in- 
deed, is one that had been practised in all the mysteries. 
The initiated were called epopts, i.e., those that see things as 
they are; whilst before they were called "mystes," meaning ^ 
quite the contrary. In all we find greater and less mys- 
teries, an exoteric and an esoteric doctrine, and three degrees. 
To betray the mysteries was everywhere considered infa- 
mous, and the heaviest penalties were attached to it ; hence 
also, in all initiations, the candidate had to take the most 
terrible oaths that he would keep the secrets entrusted to 
him. Alcibiades was banished and consigned to the Furies 
for having revealed the mysteries of Ceres; Prometheus, 
Tantalus, CEdipus, Orpheus, suffered various punishments for 
the same reason. 

19. Most Ancient Secret Society. The very contents of this 
work show that the records of ancient secret societies have 
come down to us in pretty full detail ; yet on looking at a 
map of the ancient world we are struck by a fact, which can 
only be explained by assuming the existence, at a remote 
period, of a secret society of which no record, except the one 


supplied by the map, exists. This secret society, whose 
existence, it is true, can be proved inferentially only, must 
have been that of Benjamin and his ten sons. We know 
from Gen. xlvii. that Joseph delegated to the Benjaminites 
the keeping of all the cattle of Egypt, which conferred on 
them vast powers their warlike spirit knew how to utilise 
for their own aggrandisement. And that they must have 
acted in concert is proved, inferentially as stated above, by 
the names of European and other countries. The proof is 
founded on etymology; this science is not always reliable, 
when we have only one or two roots to guide us, but when 
we come to five or more, a suspicion of mere coincidence 
must be dismissed from the mind. The subjoined names 
of Benjamin and his ten sons, together with those of the 
countries or localities named after them, will make the matter 
clear : 

Benjamin or Benymii, Benym, Benoni 
Pannonia, the ancient name of Austria ; 


That all these countries should have Benjaminite names 
proves an identity of purpose at some long-past period ; and 
as no Benjaminite sovereignty has ever been proclaimed 
over Europe, it is clear that the above result must have been 
brought about by a powerful secret society, the leaders of 
which were Benjamin and his ten sons. And to carry out 
their scheme, and to do so without the kings and politicians, 
not associated with them, detecting its origin, they must 
have had signs and passwords known only to the initiated. 
It is indisputable that pneuma, the Greek word for spirit 
or ghost, is derived from Benymn or Benjamin, as Christ 
is derived from Geras; hence Christ is said to have been 
begotten by the Holy Ghost. 

20. Secret Societies no longer needed. Thanks to secret 
societies themselves, they are now no longer needed, at least 

VOL. I. B 











not in the realms of thought. In politics, however, circum- 
stances will arise in every age to call them into existence ; 
and though they seldom attain their direct object, yet are 
they not without influence on the relations between ruler 
and ruled, advantageously for the latter in the long run, 
though not immediately. But thought religious, philoso- 
phical and political is free if not as yet in every country, 
it is so certainly in the lands inhabited by the Saxon races. 
And though the bigot and the fool would crush it, the former 
because it undermines his absolutism, and the latter because it 
interferes with his ease, yet shall it only grow stronger by the 
opposition. Science becomes the powerful bulwark against 
the invasion of dogmatic absurdities ; and there is growing 
up a scientific church, wherein knowledge, and not humility, 
labour, and not penance and fasting, are considered essen- 
tials. Various phenomena in modern life are proofs of this. 
Man during ages of intellectual gloom annihilated himself in 
behalf of the great deified All ; now he studies and respects 
himself, destroys the fetishes, and combats for Truth, which 
is the true deity. 

In ancient times the mind rose from religion to philo- 
sophy; in our times, by a violent reaction, it will ascend 
from philosophy to religion. And the men whose religion is 
so arrived at, whose universal sympathy has cast out fear 
such men are the true regenerators of mankind, and need 
neither secret signs nor passwords to recognise each other ; 
in fact, they are opposed to all such devices, because they 
know that liberty consists in publicity. In a despotically 
ruled country, as Russia, for instance, secret societies are 
even now the only means of stirring up the people to fight 
for freedom ; but wherever liberty rules, secrecy is no longer 
necessary to effect any good and useful work; once it needed 
secret societies in order to triumph, now it wants open union 
to maintain itself. Not that the time is come when every 
truth may be uttered without fear of calumny and cavil and 
opposition, especially in religious matters ; far from it, as 
some recent notable instances have shown. The words of 
Faust still have their application : 

" Who dare call the child by its right name ? 
The few that knew something of it, 
And foolishly opened their hearts, 
Revealing to the vulgar crowd their views, 
Were ever crucified or burnt." 

Certes, bodily crucifying or burning are out of the question 


now, but statecraft, and especially priestcraft, still have a 
few thumbscrews and red-hot irons to hold a man's hands 
or sear his reputation ; wherefore, though I doubt the policy, 
and in most cases the success, of secret associations, yet I 
cannot withhold my tribute of admiration for those who have 
acted or do act up to the words of the poet Lowell : 

" They are slaves who dare not speak 
For the fallen and the weak ; 
They are slaves who will not choose 
Hatred, scoffing, and abuse, 
Rather than in silence shrink 
From the truth they needs must think ; 
They are slaves who dare not be 
In the right with two or three." 



" Of man's original relation to Nature, whence we start, in order to render 
the essentials of physical science and Nature comprehensible in their 
inmost depth, we find but obscure hints. In the mysteries and the holy 
initiations of those nations that as yet were nearest to the primeval 
people, the mind apprehends a few scarcely intelligible sounds, which, 
arising deep from the nature of our being, move it mightily. Now our 
hearts are wrung by the mournful sounds of the first human race and 
of Nature ; now they are stirred by an exalted Nature - worship, and 
penetrated by the breath of an eternal inspiration 1 We shall hear that 
suppressed sound from the temple of Isis, from the speaking pillars of 
Thot, in the hymns of the Egyptian priests. On the lonely coast under 
the black rocks of Iceland the Edda will convey to us a sound from the 
graves, and fancy shall bring us face to face with those priests who by a 
stern silence have concealed from future ages the holy science of their 
worship. Yea, the eye shall yet discover the lost features of the noble 
past in the altars of Mexico, and on the pyramid which saw the blood 
and tears of thousands of human victims." V. SCHUBEKT. 


21. Derivation of the term Magus. Magus is derived from 
Maja, 1 the mirror (n) wherein Brahm, according to Indian 
mythology, from all eternity beholds himself and all his 
power and wonders. Hence also our terms rnagia, magic, 
image, imagination, all implying the fixing in a form, figure, 

or creature these words being synonymous of the poten- ____ 
cies of the primeval, structureless, living matter. The / 
Magus, therefore, is one that makes the operations of the 
Eternal Life his study. 

22. Antiquity of the Magi. The Magi, as the ancient 
priests of Persia were called, did not constitute a doctrine 
or religion only ; they constituted a monarchy their power 
truly was that of kings. And this fact is still commemo- 
rated by the circumstance that the Magi recorded to have 
been led by the star to the cradle of Jesus are just as fre- 
quently called kings as Magi. As sages, they were kings in 
the sense of Horace : 

" Ad summam, sapiens uno minor est Jove, dives, 
Liber, honoratus, pulclier, rex denique regtim." 

Epist. i. 1 06, 107. 

Their pontifical reign preceded the ascendency of Assyria, 
Media, and Persia. Aristotle asserts it to have been more 
ancient than the foundation of the kingdom of Egypt ; Plato, 
unable to reckon it by years, computes it by myriads. At 
the present day most writers agree in dating the rise of the 
reign of the Magi five thousand years before the Trojan war. 

23. Zoroaster. The founder of the order was Zoroaster, 
who was not, as some will have it, a contemporary of Darius, 
but lived nearly fifty centuries before our era. Nor was his 
home in India, but in Bactriana, which lies more to the east, 

1 Littre' derives magus from mahat, great ; but according to Indian 
mythology, mahatit andpirJcirti are brought forth by jotna, power, the off- 
spring of Maja, so that the latter truly is the etymon of " Magus." 



beyond the Caspian Sea, close to the mountains of India, 
along the great rivers Oxus and laxartes ; so that the Brah- 
mins, or priests of India, may be called the descendants of 
the Magi. 

24. Doctrine of Zoroaster. His doctrine was the most per- 
fect and rational of all those that in ancient times were the 
objects of initiation, and has more or less survived in all 
successive theosophies. Traces of it may be found in the 
ancient "Zendavesta" not the book now passing by that 
name, which is merely a kind of breviary which entered 
into all the details of Nature. 

This doctrine is not the creed of the two opposite, but 
equally powerful, principles, as has been asserted ; for Ahri-- 
manes, the principle of evil, is not equal with Oromazes, 1 
which is good. Evil is not uncreated and eternal ; it is 
rather transitory and limited in power. And Plutarch 
records an opinion, which anon we shall see confirmed, that 
Ahrimanes and his angels shall be annihilated that dualism 
is not eternal ; its life is in time, of which it constitutes the 
grand drama, and in which it is the perennial cause of 
motion and transformation. This is the doctrine of the 
" Everlasting Gospellers," so violently opposed by the Church, 
for the abolition of the devil. What would it not entail ? 

The Supreme Being, or Eternal Life, is elsewhere called *"~7 
Time without limits, for no origin can be assigned to him ; 
enshrined in his glory, and possessing properties and attri- 
butes inapprehensible by our understanding, to him belongs 
silent adoration. 

Creation had a beginning by means of emanation. The 
first emanation from the Eternal was the light, whence 
issued the King of Light, Oromazes. By means of speech 
Oromazes created the pure world, of which he is the pre- 
server and judge. Oromazes is a holy and celestial being, 
intelligence and knowledge. 

Oromazes, the first-born of Time without limits, began by 
creating, after his image and likeness, six genii, called ams- 
haspands, that surround his throne, and are his messengers 
to the inferior spirits and to men, being also to the latter 
types of purity and perfection. 

The second series of creations by Oromazes was that of the 
twenty-eight izads, that watch over the happiness, innocence, 
and preservation of the world ; models of virtue, interpreters 
of the prayers of men. 

The third host of pure spirits is more numerous, and forms 
that of the farohars, the thoughts of Oromazes, or the ideas 


conceived by him before proceeding to the creation of things. 
Not only the farohars of holy men and innocent infants 
stand before Oromazes, but this latter himself has hisfarohar, 
the personification of his wisdom and beneficent idea, his 
reason, his logos. These spirits hover over the head of every 
man ; and this idea passed over to the Greeks and Romans, 
and we meet with it again in the familiar spirit of Socrates, 
the evil genius of Brutus, and the genius comes of Horace. 

The threefold creation of good spirits was the necessary 
consequence of the contemporaneous development of the 
principle of evil. The second-born of the Eternal, Ahri- 
manes, emanated like Oromazes from the primitive light, 
and was pure like it, but being ambitious and haughty, he 
became jealous. To punish him, the Supreme Being con- 
demned him to dwell for twelve thousand years in the region 
of darkness, a time which was to be sufficient to end the- 
strife between good and evil ; but Ahrimanes created count- ^ 
less evil genii, that filled the earth with misery, disease, and / 
guilt. The evil spirits are impurity, violence, covetousness, 
cruelty ; the demons of cold, hunger, poverty, leanness, ster- 
ility, ignorance; and the most perverse of all, Peetash, the 
demon of calumny. 1 

Oromazes, after a reign of three thousand years, created 
the material world in six periods, in the same order as they 
are found in Genesis, successively calling into existence the 
terrestrial light (not to be confounded with the celestial), 
the water, the earth, plants, animals, -and man. 2 Ahrimanes 
assisted in the formation of earth and water, because the 
darkness had already invaded those elements, and Oromazes 
could not conceal them. Ahrimanes also took part in the 
creation and subsequent corruption and destruction of man, 
whom Oromazes had produced by an act of his will and by 
the Word. Out of the seed of that being Oromazes after- 
wards drew the first human pair, Mesliia and MesJiiane but 
Ahrimanes first seduced the woman and then the man, 
leading them into evil chiefly by the eating of certain fruits. 
And not only did he alter the nature of man, but also that 
of animals, opposing insects, serpents, wolves, and all kinds 
of vermin to the good animals, thus spreading corruption 
over the face of the earth. But Ahrimanes and his evil 
spirits are eventually to be overcome and cast out from 

1 All these traditions show already a very great departure from, and 
decay of, the original knowledge possessed by the primitive men. See 

2 Or rather a being compounded of a man and a bull. 


every place ; and in the stern combat just and industrious 'j 
men have nothing to fear ; for according to Zoroaster, labour / 
is the exterminator of evil, and that man best obeys the / 
righteous judge of all who assiduously tills the earth and/ 
causes it to bring forth harvests and fruit-bearing trees. - 
At the end of twelve thousand years, when the earth shall 
cease to be afflicted by the evils brought upon it by the 
spirits of darkness, three prophets shall appear and assist 
man with their power and knowledge, restoring the earth 
to its pristine beauty, judging the good and the evil, and 
conducting the first into a region of ineffable bliss. Ahri- 
manes, and the captive demons and men, shall be purified in 
a sea of liquid metal, and the law of Oromazes shall rule 

It is scarcely necessary to point out to the reader the 
astronomical bearing of the theogony of Zoroaster. The 
six good genii represent the six summer months, while the 
evil genii stand for the winter months. The twenty-eight 
izads are the days of a lunar month. But theosophically, -"7 
the six periods during which the universe was created refer / 
to the six working properties of Nature. 

25. The Light worshipped. We have seen that Zoroaster 
taught light to be the first emanation of the Eternal Life ; 
hence in the Parsee writings, light, the perennial flame, isO 
the symbol of the Deity or uncreated Life. Hence the Magi 
and Parsees have been called fire-worshippers. But the 
former saw and the latter see in the fire not a divinity, but 
simply the cause of heat and motion, thus anticipating the 
most recent discoveries of physical science, or rather, remem- 
bering some of the lost knowledge. The Parsees did not 
form any God, to call him the one true God ; they did not 
invoke any authority extrinsic to life ; they did not rely on 
any uncertain tradition ; but amidst all the recondite forces 
of Nature, they chose the one that governs them all, that 
reveals itself by the most tremendous effects. The modern 7 
Guebres are the descendants of the ancient Magi. 

26. Origin of the word Dens, God. In this sense the 
Magi, as well as the Chinese, had no theology, or they had 
one that is distinguished from all others. Those Magi that 
gave their name to occult science (magic), performed no 
sorcery, and believed in no miracles. In the bosom of 
Asiatic immobility they did not condemn motion, but rather 
considered it as the glorious symbol of the Eternal Cause. 
Other castes aimed at impoverishing the people and sub- 
jecting it to the yoke of ignorance and superstition; but 


thanks to the Magi, the Indian Olympus, peopled with mon- 
strous creatures, gave place to the conception of the unity 
of God, which always indicates progress in the history of 
thought. The text of the most ancient Zend literature 
acknowledges but one creative ens of all things, and his 
name, Dao, signifies "light" and "wisdom," and is ex- 
plained by the root daer, "to shine," whence are derived 
all such words as deus, dies, &c. The conception of Deity 
indeed was primarily that of the " bright one," whence also 
the Sanskrit dyaus, " sky," which led to so many mytho- 
logical fables. But the original idea was founded on a 
correct perception of the origin and nature of things, for 
light is truly the substance of all things ; all matter is only 
a compaction of light. Thus the Magi founded a moral 
system and an empire ; they had a literature, a science, and 
a poetry. Five thousand years before the "Iliad" they 
put forth the " Zendavesta," three grand poems, the first 
ethical, the second military, and the third scientific. 

27. Mode of Initiation. The candidate for initiation was 
prepared by numerous lustrations with fire, water, and 
honey. The number of probations he had to pass through 
was very great, and ended with a fast of fifty days' con- 
tinuance. These trials had to be endured in a subterranean 
cave, where he was condemned to perpetual silence and total 
solitude. This novitiate in some instances was attended 
with fatal effects, in others the candidate became partially 
or wholly deranged ; those who surmounted the trials were 
eligible to the highest honours. At the expiration of the 
novitiate, the candidate was brought forth into the cavern 
of initiation, where he was armed with enchanted armour 
by his guide, who was the representative of Simorgh, a 
monstrous griffin (28), and an important agent in the 
machinery of Persian mythology, and furnished with talis- 
mans, that he might be ready to encounter all the hideous 
monsters raised up by the evil spirits to impede his progress. 
Introduced into an inner apartment, he was purified with 
fire and water, and put through the seven stages of initia- 
tion. First, he beheld a deep and dangerous vault from 
the precipice where he stood, into which a single false step 
might throw him down to the "throne of dreadful neces- 
sity" the first three properties of Nature. Groping his 
way through the mazes of the gloomy cavern, he soon 
beheld the sacred fire at intervals flash through its recesses 
and illuminate his path ; he also heard the distant yelling 
of ravenous beasts the roaring of lions, the howling of 


wolves, the fierce and threatening bark of dogs. But his 
attendant, who maintained a profound silence, hurried him 
forward towards the quarter whence these sounds proceeded, 
and at the sudden opening of a door he found himself in a 
den of wild beasts, dimly lighted with a single lamp. He 
was immediately attacked by the initiated in the forms of 
lions, tigers, wolves, griffins, and other monstrous beasts, 
from whom he seldom escaped unhurt. Thence he passed 
into another cavern, shrouded in darkness, where he heard 
the terrific roaring of thunder, and saw vivid and continuous 
flashes of lightning, which in streaming sheets of fire ren- 
dered visible the flitting shades of avenging genii, resenting 
his intrusion into their chosen abodes. To restore the 
candidate a little, he was next conducted into another 
apartment, where his excited feelings were soothed with 
melodious music and the flavour of grateful perfumes. On 
his expressing his readiness to proceed through the remain- 
ing ceremonies, a signal was given by his conductor, and 
three priests immediately made their appearance, one of 
whom cast a living serpent into his bosom as a token of 
regeneration (57) ; and, a private door having been opened, 
there issued forth such howlings and cries of lamentation 
and dismay, as struck him with new and indescribable 
emotions of terror. On turning his eyes to the place 
whence these noises proceeded, he beheld exhibited in every 
appalling form the torments of the wicked in Hades. Thus 
he was passed through the devious labyrinth consisting of 
seven spacious vaults, connected by winding galleries, each 
opening with a narrow stone portal, the scene of some 
perilous adventure, until he reached the Sacellum, or Holy 
of Holies, which was brilliantly illuminated, and which 
sparkled with gold and precious stones. A splendid sun 
and starry system moved in accordance with delicious music. 
The archimagus sat in the east on a throne of burnished 
gold, crowned with a rich diadem decorated with myrtle 
boughs, and habited in a tunic of bright cerulean hue ; 
round him were assembled the prsesules and dispensers of 
the mysteries. By these the novice was received with con- 
gratulations, and after having entered into the usual engage- 
ments for keeping secret the rites of Zoroaster, the sacred 
words were entrusted to him, of which the Tetractys, or 
name of God, was the chief. The Tetractys of Pythagoras 
is analogous to the Jewish Tetragrammaton, or name of the 
Deity in four letters. The number four was considered 
the most perfect, because in the first four properties of 


Nature (n) are comprised and implied all the rest; where- 
fore also the first four numbers summed up make up the 
decad, after which all is only repetition. 

28. Myth of Rustam. This progress was denominated 
ascending the ladder of perfection, and from it has arisen 
the tale of Eustam, the Persian Hercules, who, mounted on 
the monster Eakshi, which is the Arabic name of Simorgh, 
undertakes the conquest of Mazendaraun, celebrated as a 
perfect earthly paradise. Having amidst many dangers 
fought his way along a road of seven stages, he reaches the 
cavern of the White Giant, who smites all that assail him 
with blindness. But Eustam overcomes him, and with three 
drops of the giant's blood restores sight to all his captives. 
The symbolical three drops of blood had their counterparts 
in all the mysteries of the ancient world. In Britain the 
emblem was three drops of water; in Mexico, as in this 
legend, three drops of blood ; in India, a belt composed of 
three triple threads; in China, the three strokes of the letter 
Y, &c. The blindness with which those who seek the giant 
are smitten, of course refers to the emblematic mental blind- 
ness of the aspirant to initiation. 



29. Mysteries of Mithras. Upon the trunk of a religion 
so spiritual and hostile to idolatry, which undertook icono- 
clastic expeditions into Babylonia, Assyria, Syria, and Libya, 
which vindicated the pure worship of God, destroying by 
means of the sword of Cambyses the Egyptian priesthood, 
which overthrew the temples and idols of Greece, which gave 
to the Israelites the Pharisees, which appears so simple and 
pure as to have bestowed on the Parsees the appellation of 
the Puritans of antiquity, and on Cyrus that of the Anointed 
of the Lord on this trunk there were afterwards ingrafted 
idolatrous branches, as perhaps the Brahminic, and certainly 
the Mithraic worship, the origin of which latter Dupuis 
places at 4500 years before Christ. 

30. Origin of Mithraic Worship. Mithras is a beneficent 
genius presiding over the sun, the most powerful of the twenty- 
eight izads, or spirits of light, invoked together with the sun, 
and not at first confounded with it ; the chief mediator and 
intercessor between Oromazes and man. But in course of 
time the conception of this Mithras became perverted, and 
he usurped the attributes of divinity. Such usurpation of 
the rank of the superior Deity on the part of the inferior 
is of frequent occurrence in mythology ; it suffices to refer 
to Siva and Vishnu in India, Serapis in Egypt, Jupiter in 
Greece. The perversion was rendered easy by confounding 
the symbol with the thing symbolised, the genius of the sun 
with the sun itself, which alone remained in the language, 
since the modern Persian name of the sun (mihr) represents 
the regular modification of the Zend Mithras. 

The Persian Mithras must not be confounded with that of 
India, for it is undoubted that another Mithras, different 
from the Zendic, from the most ancient times was the 
object of a special mysterious worship, and that the initiated 
knew him as the sun. Taking the letters of the Greek 
word "Meithras" at their numerical value, we obtain the 


number 365, the days of the year. The same holds good 
of "Abraxas," the name which Basilides gave to the Deity, 
and further of " Belenos," the name given to the sun in 

31. Dogmas, &c. On the Mithraic monuments we find 
representations of the globe of the sun, the club and bull, 
symbols of the highest truth, the highest creative activity, 
the highest vital power. Such a trinity agrees with that of 
Plato, which consists of the Supreme Good, the Word, and 
the Soul of the World ; with that of Hermes Trismegistus, 
consisting of Light, Intelligence, and Soul; with that of 
Porphyry, which consists of Father, Word, and Supreme 

According to Herodotus, Mithras became the Mylitta of 
Babylon, the Assyrian Venus, to whom was paid an obscene 
worship as to the female principle of creation, the goddess 
of fecundity, of life ; one perhaps with Anaitis, the Armenian 

The worship of Persian Mithras, or Apollo, spread over 
Italy 1 at Kome, in fact, it superseded the Greek and Eoman 
gods Gaul, Germany, Britain ; and expiring polytheism 
opposed to the sun Christ, the sun Mithras. 

32. Rites of Initiation. The sanctuaries of this worship 
were always subterranean, and in each sanctuary was placed 
a ladder with seven steps, by which one ascended to the 
mansions of felicity. The initiations into this degree were 
similar to those detailed in the foregoing section, but, if 
possible, more severe than into any other, and few passed 
through all the tests. The festival of the god was held to- 
wards the middle of the month of Mihr (October), and the 
probationer had to undergo long and severe trials before he 
was admitted to the full knowledge of the mysteries. 

The first degree was inaugurated with purifying lustra- 
tions, and a sign was set on the neophyte's brow, whilst he 
offered to the god a loaf and a cup of water. A crown was 
presented to him on the point of a sword, and he put it on 
his head saying, " Mithras is my crown." 

In the second degree the aspirant put on armour to meet 

1 Underneath the church of St. Clement, at Eome, a singularly well- 
preserved temple of Mithras was discovered some years ago. When the 
monk who had, on my visit to Kome, shown me the church above, said 
that he would now take me down to the pagan temple of Mithras, I could 
not help saying to myself, " If you but knew it, Mithras is above as well 
as below ! " A well-preserved temple of Mithras was discovered at Ostia 
in 1886, displaying in mosaics all the symbols of the worship of the Persian 


giants and monsters, and a wild chase took place in the sub- 
terranean caves. The priests and officers of the temple, 
disguised as lions, tigers, leopards, bears, wolves, and other 
wild beasts, attacked the candidate with fierce howlings. In 
these sham fights the aspirant ran great personal danger, 
though sometimes the priests caught a Tartar. Thus we are 
told that the Emperor Commodus on his initiation carried 
the joke too far, and slew one of the priests who had assailed 
him in the form of a wild beast. 

In the next degree he put on a mantle on which were 
painted the signs of the zodiac. A curtain then concealed 
him from the sight of all; but this being withdrawn, he 
appeared surrounded by frightful griffins. After passing 
through other trials, if his courage did not fail him, he was 
hailed as a " Lion of Mithras," in allusion to the zodiacal 
sign in which the sun attained his greatest power. We 
meet with the same idea in the degree of Master Mason. 
The grand secret was then imparted. What was it ? At this 
distance of time it is difficult to decide, but we may assume 
that the priests communicated to him the most authentic 
sacerdotal traditions, the best accredited theories concerning 
the origin of the universe, and the attributes, perfections, 
and works of Oromazes. In fact, the Mithraic mysteries re- 
present the progress of darkness to light. According to 
Guignault, Mithras is love ; with regard to the Eternal, he 
is the son of mercy; with regard to Oromazes and Ahri- 
manes, the fire of love. 

33. Thammuz. The ceremonies connected with the myth 
of Thammuz, the Chaldean sun-god, were another phase of 
solar worship. M. Lenormant was the first to demonstrate, 
from the Assyrian tablets, that Thammuz was the prototype 
of Adonis, and of all the subsequent sun-gods worshipped in 
various countries and under various names. On those tablets 
also is found the story of Istar, the prototype of Astarte, 
Isis, and the other female deities, who afterwards, under 
various names, represented cosmically the female principle, 
and astronomically the moon. The great festival of Thammuz 
was held at the summer solstice (even now in the Jewish 
calendar the month of July goes by the name of Tamuz) ; it 
lasted six days, and in the functions ascribed to each day we 
find a curious agreement with the corresponding properties of 
eternal Nature (11). For the first day was a day of rest, 
motionless, inactive ; the second and third days celebrated the 
struggle of the imprisoned life to become free they were 
days of grief and suffering ; the fourth day was dedicated 


to the conquest over lions and serpents ; that is to say, 
the fire ; the fourth property began the conquest of the 
first three or dark properties ; the fifth day was considered 
favourable for sacrifice, the happy influence of the newly- 
risen sun, or light, became perceptible ; and on the sixth, the 
conjunction of Sol with Istar was celebrated with joyous songs. 
The eighth chapter of Ezekiel comprises the day of mourning 
and that of rejoicing at the recovery of Tammuz (107). 

There is one circumstance connected with the story of 
Istar referred to above, which though not strictly within the 
scope of this work, is yet of so striking a character that the 
reader will readily excuse my referring to it. That story 
is comprised within a short poem entitled "Istar's Descent 
into Hell." Its opening lines are : 

" Towards the country without return, the land of putrefaction, 
Istar, the daughter of Sin, has set her mind. 

Towards the dwelling, into which you enter, whence never to issue 


Towards the path from which there is no return, 
Towards the habitation at whose entrance all light is withdrawn." 

Who, on reading these lines, is not inevitably reminded of 
the " Inferno " of Dante, who, of course, never had heard of 
this Chaldean poem ? 

Another remark, which may fitly be introduced here, has 
reference to Tammuz. In Chinese his name is Tomos ; and 
to this circumstance is due the fable that St. Thomas had 
been in India and China. The first Eoman Catholic mis- 
sionaries took Tomos for Thomas, who had there preached 
the Gospel ; wherefore the first Christians in those countries 
called themselves the Christians of St. Thomas, telling 
wonderful stories of the doings of St. Thomas, and that 
at last he was put to death by the Brahmins, whose trade he 

VOL. I. 



34. Vulgar Creed of India. The Indian religion, whether 
we look on it as an adulteration of Magism, or as the 
common trunk of all Asiatic theosophy, offers so boundless a 
wealth of deities, that no other in this respect can approach 
it. This wealth is an infallible sign of the mental poverty 
and grossness of the people, who, ignorant of the laws of 
Nature, and terrified at its phenomena, acknowledged as 
many supernatural beings as there were mysteries for them. 
The Brahmins reckon up 300,000 gods a frightful host, that 
have kept Indian life servile and stagnant, perpetuated the 
divisions of caste, upheld ignorance, and weighed like an 
incubus on the breasts of their deluded dupes, and turned 
existence into a nightmare of grief and servitude. 

35. Secret Doctrines. But in the secret sanctuary these 
vain phantoms disappear, and the initiated are taught to look 
upon them as countless accidents and outward manifestations 
of the First Cause. The Brahmins did not consider the 
people fit to apprehend and preserve in its purity the reli- 
gion of the spirit, hence they veiled it in these figures, and 
also invented a language incomprehensible to the vulgar, but 
which the investigations of Oriental scholars have enabled us 
to read, and to perceive that the creed of India is one of the 
purest ever known to man. Thus in the second chapter of 
the first part of the " Vishnu Purana," it is written : " God 
is without form, epithet, definition, or description ; free from 
defect, incapable of annihilation, change, grief, or pain. We 
can only say that He, that is, the Eternal Being, is God. 
Vulgar men think that God is in the water ; the more en- 
lightened, in celestial bodies; the ignorant, in wood and 
stone; but the wise, in the universal mind." The "Maha- 
nirvana " says : " Numerous figures, corresponding with 
the nature of divers powers and quality, were invented for 
the benefit of those who are wanting in sufficient under- 
standing." Again, "We have no notion of how the Eternal 



Being is to be described ; he is above all the mind can ap- 
prehend, above Nature. . . . That Only One that was never 
defined by any language, and gave to language all its mean- 
ing, he is the Supreme Being . . . and no partial thing that 
man worships. . . . This Being extends over all things. He 
is mere spirit without corporeal form ; without extension of 
any size, unimpressionable, and without any organs ; he is 
pure, perfect, omniscient, omnipresent, the ruler of the intel- 
lect ... he is the soul of the whole universe." 

36. Hindoo Cosmogony. The Hindoo cosmogony certainly 
is the most ancient we possess ; the laws of Menu, embody- 
ing it, were written before Moses was born, and may thus 
describe the Creation. 

" This universe existed only in the first divine idea, yet 
unexpanded, as if involved in darkness. . . . Then the sole, 
self-existing power . . . appeared with undiminished glory, 
expanding his idea." 

"He, having willed to produce various beings from his 
own divine substance, first created the waters." 

"From that which Is, the first cause, . . . was produced 
the divine male." 

" He framed the heaven above, and the earth beneath ; in 
the midst he placed the subtile ether." 

" He framed all creatures." 

"He, too, first assigned to all creatures distinct names." 

" He gave being to time, and the divisions of time to the 
stars also and the planets." 

"Having divided his own substance, the mighty power 
became half male, half female." 

" He, . . . having created this universe, was again absorbed 
in the spirit, changing the time of energy for the time of 

It will be seen that the author of Genesis has given us 
a faint echo of those grand utterances, as a child feebly 
attempting to repeat the teachings of a sage. 

37. Buddhism. A dangerous antagonist to the Brahman 
priesthood, and the literature and traditions, on which they 
rested their claims to power, sprang up in Buddhism. 
Buddha preached the equality of all men, and denied the 
value, much more the necessity, of the Vedic system. The 
new gospel of universal charity and brotherhood was eagerly 
received by men, who were groaning under the yoke of 
Brahmanical tyranny, and it found an ally in the half- 
expressed scepticism of some of the Vedic schools of philo- 
sophy. It was in the south of India especially that Buddha's 


doctrines found a ready welcome, while Ceylon became con- 
verted to Buddhism as early as 2406.0. In India, Buddhism 
was exterminated by its sanguinary persecution by the 
Brahmins. Ceylon is now the only part of India in which 
the religion of Buddha still survives. 

38. Buddhistic Teaching. Buddha, or to give him his 
real name, Sakyamuni for Buddha is a title, and means a 
" Sage " is said to have been born in the sixth century B.C. 
But of his real existence there is no proof ; the most recent 
researches show that the story of Buddha is a solar myth, 
first told of Krishna, and afterwards transferred to Buddha. 
The most sacred Buddhist symbols, and the most frequent 
Buddhist similes, have their Vedic analogies, with the dis- 
tinction that Brahminism resolves the individual into a 
(personal) god, Buddhism into the (universal) Nothing, or 
Nirvana. For Buddhism teaches that the original matter, 
or prakriti, is the only existing divine per se. In this 
matter there are immanent two forces, which produce two 
different conditions quiescence and activity. In one state 
it remains quiescent with consciousness in an absolute in- 
active vacuity, and this is the state of bliss of the original 
Nothing. In another state the matter steps out of itself by 
its activity, and is shaped into limited forms. In doing so 
it loses its consciousness, which it re-acquires in becoming 
man, and there is in this manner an original and a born 
consciousness. The aim of man is to reproduce the original 
consciousness. On arriving at it he learns that there is 
nothing real beside the original matter; his spirit then 
becomes identical with the original conscious Nothing ; that 
is to say, his individual soul, set free from the body, in 
which it was imprisoned, returns into the universal soul, 
just as the solar light, imprisoned in a piece of wood, when 
this is burnt, returns into the universal ocean of light. On 
this doctrine was afterwards engrafted the false belief in 
the metempsychosis or transmigration of souls, and the 
misanthropic system of self-renunciation, which in India led 
to the self-tort u rings of fakirs and other fanatics ; and which 
finds its analogies in Christian communities in the asceti- 
cism of fasts, penances, macerations, solitude, flagellation, 
and all the mad practices of monks, anchorets, and other 
religious zealots. 

39. Asceticism. This asceticism, founded on the above 
notion, viz., that the Absolute or All is the real existence, 
and that individual phenomena, especially matter in all its 
forms, are really nothing, i.e., mere phantasms, and to be 


avoided, as increasiDg the distance from the Absolute, 
and that absorption into the Deity is to be obtained, even 
in this life, by the maceration of the body, was and even 
now is prevalent in India, where it was carried, in thousands 
of instances, further than mere self-torture, even to death. 
When, at the festival of the dread goddess Bhovani, the 
wife of Siva, her ponderous image was borne on a car, with 
cutting wheels, to the Ganges, a crowd of frantic beings, 
wreathed with flowers, joyous as if they went to the nuptial 
altar, would cast themselves under the wheels of the car, 
offering themselves, amidst the sounding of trumpets, as 
voluntary sacrifices, to be cut to pieces by the wheels. 
And in various sects asceticism has led to the adoption 
of many strange practices. In the " Contes de la Eeine 
de Navarre " there is a passage which at some length refers 
to a special mode adopted by monks and other men for the 
mortification of the flesh. 

40. Gymnosophists. We have very few notices of the 
Gymnosophists, the Magi of Brahminism, the most severe 
custodians of the primitive law, and originally most free 
from imposture. They spread over Africa ; and in Ethiopia 
they lived as solitaires, and revived on the banks of the Nile 
many phases of Asiatic theosophy, traces of which abound 
in the doctrines of the Dervishes. Priests-errant, they were 
reported to carry with them a secret doctrine, of which the 
simplicity of their lives and the purity of their morals might 
be considered as the outward manifestation ; though in after 
times they became one of the most debauched and immoral 
sects in India. 

They went almost naked (hence their name JV/JLVOS, naked ; 
0-0^09, wise), and lived on herbs ; but their own austerity did 
not render them harsh towards other men, nor unjust as re- 
garded other common conditions of life. They believed in 
one only God, the immortality of the soul and its transmi- 
gration, and when old age or disease prostrated them, they 
ascended the funeral pile, deeming it ignominious to let years 
or evils afflict them. Alexander saw one of them close his 
life in this manner. 

The priestly colleges of Ethiopia and Egypt maintained 
constant relations. Osiris is an Ethiopian divinity. Every 
year the two families of priests met on the boundaries 
of the two countries to offer common sacrifices to Ammon, 
another name for Jupiter, and celebrate the festival 
which the Greeks called heliotrapeza, or Table of the Sun. 
Amidst the predominant fetishism of Africa, produced partly 


by climate and partly by the same circumstances that gave 
rise to Indian fetishism, we cannot help admiring that 
colony of thinkers which long resisted the progress of des- 
potism, and whose destruction was the revenge of intolerance 
and tyranny. 

41. Places for celebrating Mysteries. The mysteries, as in 
other countries, were celebrated in subterranean caverns, here 
excavated in the solid rock, and surpassing in grandeur of 
conception and finish of execution anything to be seen else- 
where. The temples of Elephanta, Ellora, and Salsette, con- 
sisting of large halls and palaces, chapels, pagodas, cells for 
thousands of priests and pilgrims, adorned with pillars and 
columns, obelisks, bas-reliefs, gigantic statues of deities, 
elephants, and other sacred animals, all carved out of the 
living rock, are especially noteworthy. In the sacellum, 
only accessible to the initiated, the supreme Deity was re- 
presented by the lingam, which was used more or less by all 
ancient nations to represent His creative power, though in 
India it was also typified by the petal and calyx of the lotus. 

42. Initiation. The periods of initiation were regulated 
by the increase and decrease of the moon, and the mysteries 
were divided into four degrees, and the candidate might be 
initiated into the first at the early age of eight years. He 
was then prepared by a Brahmin, who became his spiritual 
guide for the second degree, the probationary ceremonies of 
which consisted in incessant occupation in prayers, fastings, 
ablutions, and the study of astronomy. In the hot season 
he sat exposed to five fires, four blazing around him, with 
the sun above ; in the rains he stood uncovered ; in the cold 
season he wore wet clothing. To participate in the high 
privileges which the mysteries were believed to confer, he 
was sanctified by the sign of the cross, and subjected to the 
probation of the pastos, the tomb of the sun, the coffin of 
Hiram, darkness, hell, all symbolical of the first three pro- 
perties (n). His purification being completed, he was led 
at night to the cavern of initiation. This was brilliantly 
illuminated, and there sat the three chief hierophants, in the 
east, west, and south, representing the gods Brahma, who 
was painted red to represent substance, Vishnu, painted blue 
to symbolise space, Siva, painted white, in contrast to the 
black night of eternity, surrounded by attendant mysta- 
gogues, dressed in appropriate vestments. The initiation 
was begun by an apostrophe to the sun, addressed by the 
name of Pooroosh, here meaning the vital soul, or portion of 
the universal spirit of Brahm; and the candidate, after some 


further preliminary ceremonies, was made to circumambu- 
late the cavern three times, and afterwards conducted through 
seven dark caverns, during which period the wailings of 
Mahadeva for the loss of Siva were represented by dismal 
howlings. The usual paraphernalia of flashes of light, of 
dismal sounds and horrid phantoms, were produced to terrify 
and confuse the aspirant. Having arrived at the last cavern, 
the sacred conch was blown, the folding doors thrown open, 
and the candidate was admitted into an apartment filled with 
dazzling lights, ornamented with statues and emblematic 
figures richly decorated with gems, and scented with the 
most fragrant perfumes. This sacellum was intended to 
represent Paradise, and was actually so called in the temple 
of Ellora. With eyes riveted on the altar, the candidate was 
taught to expect the descent of the Deity in the bright 
pyramidal fire that blazed upon it ; and in a moment of 
enthusiasm, thus artificially produced, the candidate might 
indeed persuade himself that he actually beheld Brahm 
seated on the lotus, with his four heads and arms, repre- 
senting the four elements and the four quarters of the globe, 
and bearing in his hands the emblems of eternity and power, 
the circle and fire. The symbol of initiation was a cord of 
seven threads knotted thrice three. 

The reader will have noticed in one case I say Brahm and 
in the other Brahma ; the latter is the body of the former, 
which is the Eternal Life. The terms correspond with those 
of Abyssal Deity and Virgin Sophia of Christian theosophy. 

43. The ineffable name Aum. The candidate was now 
supposed to be regenerated, and was invested with the white 
robe, tiara, and the sacred belt ; a cross was marked on his 
forehead, and a tau (53) upon his breast; the salagram or 
marginal black stone (18), to insure to him the perfection of 
Vishnu, and the serpent stone, an antidote against the bite 
of serpents, were delivered to him ; and lastly, he was 
entrusted with the sacred name, which signified the solar fire, 
and united in its comprehensive meaning the great Trimurti, 
or combined principle on which the existence of all things is 
founded. This word was OM, or in a triliteral form AUM, 
to represent the creative, preserving, and destroying power 
of the Deity, personified in Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, the 
symbol of which was an equilateral triangle. To this name, 
as the Royal Arch Masons to that of Jabulon, they attributed 
the most wonderful powers ; and it could only be the subject 
of silent but pleasing contemplation, for its pronunciation 
was said to make earth and heaven tremble, and even the 


angels of heaven to quake with. fear. The emblems around 
and the aporreta of the mysteries were then explained, and 
the candidate instructed that by means of the knowledge 
of OM he was to become one with the Deity. With the 
Persians the syllable HOM meant the tree of life, a tree and 
a man at the same time, the dwelling-place of the soul of 
Zoroaster ; and with them also, as with the Indians, it was 
forbidden on pain of death to reveal it. In this secret name, 
involving the rejection of polytheism, and comprising the 
knowledge of Nature, we have the golden thread thatjinites 
ancient and modern secret societies. 

44. The Lingam. One of the emblems found in the 
sacellum, and which in fact is found everywhere on the 
walls of Indian temples, was the lingam, which represented 
the male principle, and which passed from India to Egypt, 
Greece, and Scandinavia. The worship of this symbol could 
not but lead to great abuses, especially as regarded the 

45. The, Lotus. The lotus, the lily of the Nile, held sacred 
also in Egypt, was the great vegetable amulet of eastern 
nations. The Indian gods were always represented as 
seated on it. It was an emblem of the soul's freedom when 
liberated from its earthly tabernacle, the body ; for it takes 
root in the mud deposited at the bottom of a river, vegetates 
from the germ to a perfect plant, and afterwards rising 
proudly above the waves, it floats in air, as if independent of 
any extraneous aid. It is placed on a golden table, as the 
symbol of Siva, on the top of Mount Meru, the holy moun- 
tain of India, the centre of the earth, worshipped by Hindoos, 
Tartars, Montchurians, and Mongols. It is supposed to be 
in Northern India, to have three peaks, composed of gold, 
silver, and iron, on which reposes the trine deity Brahma, 
Vishnu, and Siva. Geographically, this mountain is evi- 
dently the tableland of Tartary, whose southern boundary is 
formed by the Himalayas. This custom of accounting a 
three-peaked mountain holy was not confined to India alone, 
but prevailed also among the Jews. Thus Olivet, near 
Jerusalem, had three peaks, which were accounted the resi- 
dence of the Deity Chemosh, Milcom, Ashtoreth (2 Kings 
xxiii. 13). In Zechariah (xiv. 4) the feet of the Almighty 
are placed on the two outer peaks of this mountain during 
the threatened destruction of Jerusalem ; while the moun- 
tain itself is made to split asunder at the centre peak from 
east to west, leaving a great valley between the divided parts. 

46. The Jains. They form a Buddhistic sect, but differ 


from the Buddhists by having retained the division of 
castes; they agree, however, with them in denying the divine 
authority of the Vedas. The Jains are divided into four 
castes, the first of which is that of the Brahmens, or priests, 
who pass through a ceremony of upanayana, or initiation, 
but of what it consists we have no reliable information. 
The term jain, or jina, means a conqueror, and is used by 
genuine Buddhists in that sense ; but with the latter man 
becomes a Jina through meditation, whilst with the Jains 
he becomes a " conqueror " through austerity. They have a 
magnificent temple, the most superb of all temples in India, 
on Mount Abu, in the territory of Serohee, in Kajpootana. 
It is built of marble, in the form of a cross, and is said 
to have been fourteen years building, and to have cost 
^"18,000,000. It is a celebrated place of pilgrimage for the 
Jains, who also have a large rock-temple at Karlee, in the 
Presidency of Bombay. 



47. Antiquity of Egyptian Civilisation. All Egypt is an 
initiation. A long and narrow strip of land, watered by 
immense floods and surrounded by immense solitudes such 
is Egypt. Very high and steep rocks protected it from the 
incursions of the nomadic tribes, and thus a valley, a river, 
and a race sufficed to create, if not the most ancient, at least 
one of the most ancient and illustrious cultures, a world of 
marvels, at a time when Europeans went naked, and dyed 
their skins, as Caesar found the ancient Britons, and when 
the Greeks, armed with bows and arrows, led a nomadic 
existence. The Egyptians, many thousand years before the 
Trojan war, had invented writing, as is proved, for instance, 
by the hieratic papyrus of the time of Rameses II., full of 
recipes and directions for the treatment of a great variety of 
diseases, and now in the Berlin Museum. They also knew 
many comforts of life, which our pride calls modern; and 
the Greek writers, whom the Egyptian priests called children, 
are full of recollections of that mysterious land, recording the 
father Nile, Thebes with its hundred gates, the Pyramids, 
Lake Meroe, the Labyrinth, the Sphinx, and the statue of 
Memnon saluting the rising sun. 

48. Temples of Ancient Egypt. Egyptian chronology, the 
reproof and paragon of all others, is graven on imperish- 
able monuments. But those obelisks, sacred to the sun, by 
their conical form like that of the flame ; those labyrinths ; 
those human-headed birds, typifying the intelligent soul; those 
scarabei, signifying creative power; those sphinxes, repre- 
senting force, the lion or sun, and man ; those serpents, ex- 
pressing life and eternity (70) ; those strange combinations 
of forms; those hieroglyphics they long remained secrets 
for us, and perhaps always were a secret for the Egyptian 
people that in fear and silence erected the pyramids all 
these symbols constituted the language of one of the vastest 

and most elaborate secret societies that ever existed. Pene- 



trating into those gigantic temples which seem the work of 
an extinct race, different from ours, as fossil quadrupeds are 
different from those now living ; traversing those cloisters, 
which after many windings lead to the innermost sanctuary, 
we are seized by a singular thought that of the silence and 
solitude which ever reigned within those edifices into which 
the people were not allowed to penetrate ; only the few were 
admitted, and we moderns are the first profane that have set 
foot within the hallowed precincts. The temple of Luxor is 
the vastest on earth six propylsea with long files of columns, 
and colossi and obelisks and sphinxes ; six cloisters every 
new generation of kings for seventy centuries added some 
new portion and inscribed on the walls the history of its 
deeds, and every new addition removed the faithful further 
from the seat of the god ; the marvel and mystery increased. 
The sixth propylseum is not finished ; it is a chapter of his- 
tory broken off in the middle, and will never be completed. 
The walls and pillars of the temples were covered with reli- 
gious and astronomical representations, and from the fact of 
many of these pictures showing human beings in various 
states of suffering and under torture, it has been assumed 
that the Egyptian ritual was cruel, like the Mexican (85 
89) ; but such is not the case ; the pictures are only repre- 
sentations of the punishments said to be inflicted on the 
wicked in another life. 

49. Egyptian Priests and Kings. The priestly caste, pos- 
sessing all the learning, ruled first and alone; but in its 
own defence it armed a portion of the population ; the rest 
it kept down by superstition, or disarmed and weakened it 
by corruption. To Plato, who saw it from a distance, this 
government seemed stupendous, and he idealised it ; it was 
for him the " city of God," the pattern republic. Neverthe- 
less, as was inevitable, might rebelled against doctrine, the 
soldiery broke the reign of the priesthood, and by the side of 
the pontiffs arose the kings, or to speak more correctly, the 
two series proceeded in parallels ; that of the priests was not 
set aside, it had its palaces, the temples, strong like fort- 
resses, along the Nile, which were at the same time splendid 
abodes, agricultural establishments, commercial depots, and 
caravan stations ; its members appointed and ruled the kings 
themselves, regulating the most minute acts of their daily 
conduct; they were the depositaries of the highest offices, 
and as the learned savans, magistrates, and physicians, 
enjoyed the first honours. Their chief colleges were at 
Thebes, Memphis, Heliopolis, and Sais ; they possessed a great 


portion of the land, which they caused to be cultivated ; paid 
no taxes, but collected tithes. They formed indeed the elect, 
privileged, and only free portion of the nation. 

50. Exoteric and Esoteric Doctrines. The priests were no 
followers of the idolatrous faith of the people ; but to have 
undeceived the latter would have been dangerous for them- 
selves. The true doctrine of the unity of God, therefore, 
which was their secret, was only imparted to those that after 
many trials had been initiated into the mysteries. Their 
doctrines, like those of all other priesthoods, were therefore 
exoteric and esoteric ; and the mysteries were of two kinds, 
the greater and the less, the former being the mysteries of 
Osiris and Serapis, the latter those of Isis. The mysteries 
of Osiris were celebrated at the autumnal equinox ; those of 
Serapis at the summer solstice ; and those of Isis at the 
vernal equinox. 

51. Egyptian Mythology. Though want of space does not 
allow me fully to enter upon the vast subject of Egyptian 
mythology, yet a few words thereon are necessary to render 
its bearing on the mysteries clear, and also to show its con- 
nection with many of the rites of modern freemasonry. 

That all the symbols and ceremonies of all the ancient 
creeds originally had a deep and universal cosmic meaning, 
has already been shown (9, 10) ; but at the time when the 
mysteries were most nourishing that meaning was to a great 
extent lost, and a merely astronomical one substituted for it, 
as will be seen from the following explanations : 

Osiris, represented in Egypt by a sceptre surmounted by 
an eye, to signify him that rules and sees, symbolises the 
sun. Osiris is evidently derived from Iswara, an epithet of 
Brahma, and means the Supreme Lord; it is therefore a 
title, and not a proper name. The same adventures are 
attributed to Osiris that are related of Brahma. Osiris is 
killed by Typhon, a serpent engendered by the mud of the 
Nile. But Typhon is a transposition of Python, derived 
from the Greek word 7ru#o>, " to putrefy," and means no- 
thing else but the noxious vapours arising from steaming 
mud, and thus concealing the sun ; wherefore in the Greek 
mythology Apollo another name for the sun is said to 
have slain Python with his arrows, that is to say, dispelled 
the vapours by his rays. Osiris having been killed by 
Python to which, however, the wider meaning of the sun's 
imaginary disappearance, or death, during the winter season, 
was attached Isis, his wife, or the moon, goes in search of 
him, and at last finds his body, cut into fourteen pieces ; 


that is to say, into as many parts as there are days between 
the full moon and the new. She collects all the pieces, with 
one important exception, for which she made a substitution, 
which gave rise to a worship resembling that of the lingam 
in India, and which in Egypt was called that of the phallus. 
Among the Sidonians, Isis was called Ashtaroth, meaning 
"flocks," "riches," i.e., the plenty of the earth; and hence 
we so frequently find "asherah" and "ashtaroth" men- 
tioned together. In the Bible asherah is translated " grove," 
but this is an error; asherah means "pillar," or the phallus, 
the mast of the ship of Isis, which was carried in procession 
at Egyptian religious festivals. 

But although to the vulgar crowd Isis was only the moon, 
to the initiated she was Hathor, the Universal Mother, the 
primordial harmony and beauty, called in Egyptian " lophis," 
which the Greeks turned into " Sophia," 1 whence the Virgin 
Sophia of theosophy. Hence also the many names by 
which Isis was known (58), indicating the multifarious 
aspects she necessarily assumed. Her image was worshipped 
at Sais under the emblem of "Isis veiled," with this in- 
scription : "I am all that has been, all that is, and all that 
will be, and no mortal has drawn aside my veil." 

Apis, or the Bull, was an object of worship throughout all 
the ancient world, because formerly the zodiacal sign of the 
Bull opened the vernal equinox (81). 

52. The Phoenix. The Egyptians began the year with 
the rising of the dog-star or Sirins. But making no allow- 
ance for the quarter of a day which finishes the year, the 
civil year every four years began one day too soon, and so 
the beginning of the year went successively through every 
one of the days of the natural year in the space of four 
times 365, which makes 1460 years. They fancied they 
blessed and made all the seasons to prosper by making 
them thus to enjoy one after another the feast of Isis, 
which was celebrated along with that of Sirius, though it 
was frequently very remote from that constellation ; where- 
fore they introduced the image of dogs, or even the real 
and living animals, preceding the chariots of Isis. When 
in the I46ist year the feast again coincided with the rising 
of the star Sirins, they looked upon it as a season of plenty, 
and symbolised it by a bird of singular beauty, which they 
called Phoenix (deliciis abundans), saying that it came to 

1 By a transposition of consonants, common enough in the formation of 
new words ; Typbon from Python is an instance already mentioned ; forma, 
from /J.op<j>T], is another. 


die upon the altar of the sun, and that out of its ashes there 
arose a little worm, that gave birth to a bird perfectly like 
the preceding. 

53. The Cross. Among the astronomical symbols we 
must not omit the Cross. This sign really signifies the fire, 
as we have seen (11, ix.), but in Egypt it was simply the 
Nilometer, consisting of an upright pole with a cross-bar, 
that was raised or lowered according to the swelling or 
decrease of the river. It was frequently surmounted by a 
circle, typifying the deity that governs this important opera- 
tion. Now, the overflow of the Nile was considered the 
salvation of Egypt, and hence the sign came to be looked 
upon with great veneration, and to have occult virtues 
attributed to it, such as the power of averting evil ; where- 
fore the Egyptians hung small figures of the cross, or rather 
the letter T, with a ring attached to it, the crux ansata, 
round the necks of their children and of sick persons ; they 
applied it to the string or fillets with which they wrapped 
up their mummies, where we still find it; it became, in 
fact, an amulet (amolitio maloruwi). Other nations adopted 
the custom, and hence the cross or the letter T, whereby it 
was symbolised throughout the ancient world, was supposed 
to be a sign or letter of more than ordinary significance. 
In the mysteries, the crux ansata was the symbol of eternal 
life. But the cross was worshipped as an astronomical sign 
in other countries. We have seen that in India the neo- 
phyte was sanctified by the sign of the cross (42), which in 
most ancient nations was a symbol of the universe, pointing 
as it does to the four quarters of the compass ; and the erection 
of temples on the cruciform principle is as old as architec- 
ture itself. The two great pagodas of Benares and Mathura 
are erected in the form of vast crosses, of which each wing 
is equal in extent, as is also the pyramidal temple of New 
Grange in Ireland. But the older and deeper meaning of 
the cross is shown in (n); it refers to the fire, and the 
double quality everywhere observable in Nature. The triple 
tau is the Royal Arch Mason's badge. 

54. Places of Initiation. In Egypt and other countries 
(India, Media, Persia, Mexico) the place of initiation was a 
pyramid erected over subterranean caverns. The pyramids, 
in fact, may be looked upon, considering their size, shape, 
and solidity, as artificial mountains. Their form not only 
symbolically represented the ascending flame, but also had 
a deeper origin in the conical form, which is the primitive 
figure of all natural products. And the Great Pyramid, the 


tomb of Osiris, was erected in such a position, and to such a 
height, that at the spring and autumnal equinoxes the sun 
would appear exactly at midday upon the summit of the 
pyramid, seeming to rest upon this immense pedestal, when 
his worshippers, extended at the base, would contemplate 
the great Osiris as well when he descended into the tomb 
as when he arose from it triumphant. 

5 5 . Process of Initiation. The candidate, conducted by a 
guide, was led to a deep, dark well or shaft in the pyramid, 
and, provided with a torch, he descended into it by means 
of a ladder affixed to the side. Arrived at the bottom, 
he saw two doors one of them barred, the other yielding 
to the touch of his hand. Passing through it, he beheld 
a winding gallery, whilst the door behind him shut with a 
clang that reverberated through the vaults. Inscriptions 
like the following met his eye : " Whoso shall pass along 
this road alone, and without looking back, shall be purified 
by fire, water, and air; and overcoming the fear of death, 
shall issue from the bowels of the earth to the light of day, 
preparing his soul to receive the mysteries of Isis." Pro- 
ceeding onward, the candidate arrived at another iron gate, 
guarded by three armed men, whose shining helmets were 
surmounted by emblematic animals, the Cerberus of Orpheus. 
Here the candidate had offered to him the last chance of 
returning, if so inclined. Electing to go forward, he under- 
went the trial by fire, by passing through a hall filled with 
inflammable substances in a state of combustion, and forming 
a bower of fire. The floor was covered with a grating of red- 
hot iron bars, leaving, however, narrow interstices where 
he might safely place his feet. Having surmounted this 
obstacle, he has to encounter the trial by water. A wide 
and dark canal, fed by the waters of the Nile, arrests his 
progress. Placing the flickering lamp upon his head, he 
plunges into the canal, and swims to the opposite bank, 
where the greatest trial, that by air, awaits him. He lands 
upon a platform leading to an ivory door, bounded by two 
walls of brass, into each of which is inserted an immense 
wheel of the same metal. He in vain attempts to open the 
door, when, espying two large iron rings affixed to it, he 
takes hold of them ; but suddenly the platform sinks from 
under him, a chilling blast of wind extinguishes his lamp, 
the two brazen wheels revolve with formidable rapidity and 
stunning noise, whilst he remains suspended by the two rings 
over the fathomless abyss. But ere he is exhausted the plat- 
form returns, the ivory door opens, and he sees before him a 


magnificent temple, brilliantly illuminated, and filled with 
the priests of Isis clothed in the mystic insignia of their 
offices, the hierophant at their head. But the ceremonies 
of initiation do not cease here. The candidate is subjected to 
a series of fastings, which gradually increase for nine times 
nine days. During this period a rigorous silence is imposed 
upon him, which if he preserve inviolate, he is at length 
fully initiated into the esoteric doctrines of Isis. He is led 
before the triple statue of Isis, Osiris, and Horus, another 
symbol of the sun, where he swears never to publish the 
things revealed to him in the sanctuary, and first drinks 
the water of Lethe, presented to him by the high priest, 
to forget all he ever heard in his unregenerate state, 
and afterwards the water of Mnemosyne, to remember all 
the lessons of wisdom imparted to him in the mysteries. 
He is next introduced into the most secret part of the 
sacred edifice, where a priest instructs him in the applica- 
tion of the symbols found therein. He is then publicly 
announced as a person who has been initiated into the 
mysteries of Isis the first degree of the Egyptian rites. 

56. Mysteries of Serapis. These constituted the second 
degree. We know but little of them, and Apuleius only 
slightly touches upon them. When Theodosius destroyed 
the temple of Serapis there were discovered subterraneous 
passages and engines wherein and wherewith the priests 
tried the candidates. Porphyry, in referring to the greater 
mysteries, quotes a fragment of Cheremones, an Egyptian 
priest, which imparts an astronomical meaning to the whole 
legend of Osiris, thus confirming what has been said above. 
And Herodotus, in describing the temple of Minerva, where 
the rites of Osiris were celebrated, and speaking of a tomb 
placed in the most secret recess, as in Christian churches 
there are calvaries behind the altar, says : "It is the tomb 
of a god whose name I dare not mention." Calvary is de- 
rived from the Latin word calvns, "bald," and figuratively 
" arid," " dried up ;" pointing to the decay of Nature in the 
winter season. 

57. Mysteries of Osiris. These formed the third degree 
or summit of Egyptian lay initiation, for there was yet 
the higher initiation into the priesthood, described in the 
following section. In these the legend of the murder of 
Osiris by his brother Typhon was represented, and the god 
was personated by the candidate. (As we shall see here- 
after, the Freemasons exactly copy this procedure in the 
master's degree, substituting for Osiris Hiram Abiff, one of 


the three grand-masters at the building of Solomon's 
temple.) The perfectly initiated candidate was called 
Al-om-jak, from the name of the Deity (43), 'and the dogma 
of the unity of God was the chief secret imparted to him. 
How great and how dangerous a secret it was may easily be 
seen when it is borne in mind that centuries after the 
institution of the mysteries, Socrates lost his life for promul- 
gating the same doctrine. According to lamblichus, all 
initiated into the highest esoteric mysteries became, as it 
were, dead to their own selves ; they were absorbed in the 
Deity ; they enjoyed the beatific vision. Neither fire nor 
steel could hurt them ; no natural obstacles could stand in 
their way ; the afflatus of the Divine spirit encompassed 
them. We have, in fact, in those ancient pagan imagina- 
tions all the fancied privileges of the Christian mystics, all 
the raptures of canonised saints of the Eoman Catholic 

58. Isis. The many names assumed by Isis have already 
been alluded to. She was also represented with different 
emblems, all betokening her manifold characteristics. The 
lucid round, the snake, the ears of corn, and the sistrum 
represent the titular deities of the Hecat^ean (Hecate, God- 
dess of Night), Bacchic, Eleusinian, and Ionic mysteries ; 
that is, the mystic rites in general for whose sake the alle- 
gory was invented. The black palla in which she is wrapped, 
embroidered with a silver moon and stars, denotes the time 
in which the mysteries were celebrated, namely, in the dead 
of night. Her names, to return to them, are given in the 
following words, put into her mouth by Apuleius in his 
" Golden Ass," which is a description of the mysteries under 
the guise of a fable : " Behold, Lucius, I, moved by thy 
prayers, am present with thee ; I who am Nature, the parent 
of things, the queen of all the elements, the primordial 
progeny of the ages, the supreme of divinities, the sovereign 
of the spirits of the dead, the first of the celestials, the , 
first and universal substance, the uniform and multiform 
aspect of the uncreated essence ; I who rule by my nod the 
luminous summits of the heavens, the breezes of the sea, 
and the silence of the realms beneath, and whose one 
divinity the whole orb of the earth venerates under a mani- 
fold form, by different rites, and a variety of appellations. 
Hence the early Phrygians call me Pessinuntica, mother of 
the gods ; the Attic aborigines, Cecropian Minerva ; the 
floating Cyprians, Paphian Venus ; the arrow-bearing Cre- 
tans, Diana Dictynna; the three-tongued Sicilians, Stygian 

VOL. I. D 


Proserpine ; and the Eleusinians, the ancient goddess Ceres. 
Some also call me Juno, others Bellona, others Hecate, and 
others Rhamnusia. The Ethiopians, the Arii, and the 
Egyptians, skilled in ancient learning, honour me with rites 
peculiarly appropriate, and call me by my true name, Queen 
Isis." From this it is quite clear that Isis was not simply 
the moon to the initiated. In the sanctuary the multi- 
farious forms are reduced to unity ; the many idols are 
reduced to the one divinity i.e., primeval power and 


59. Preparation. Bat there was a still higher degree into 
which Egyptian kings and priests only were initiated. It 
was known by the above title. Whoso wished to enter 
this degree had to be specially recommended by one of the 
initiated. This was usually done by the king himself in- 
troducing the aspirant to the priests. These first directed 
him from Heliopolis to the priests at Memphis ; thence he 
was sent to Thebes ; eventually he was circumcised ; then he 
was forbidden to eat pulse or fish and to drink wine, though 
in the higher degrees leave to do so was occasionally granted. 
He was then left for several months together in a sub- 
terranean cave to his own reflections, which he was invited 
to write down. Afterwards he was led into a passage, 
supported by Hermes' pillars, on which were graven moral 
sentences he had to learn by heart. As soon as he knew 
them, the Thesmophorus, or introducer, came to him, carry- 
ing in his hand a stout whip, to keep away the profane from 
the gate through which the aspirant was to pass. He was 
blindfolded, and his hands tied with cords. 

60. First Degree. The candidate having been led to the 
" Gate of Men," the Thesmophorus touched the shoulder of 
a Portophorus, or apprentice, who guarded the gate, which 
latter thereupon knocked at the gate, which was opened. 
On the aspirant's entrance he was questioned on various 
matters by the Hierophant, after which he was led about 
the Birantha in an artificial storm of wind, rain, thunder 
and lightning, and if he showed no signs of fear, Menies, 
the expounder, explained the laws of the Grata Repoa, to 
which he had to give his assent. He was then led before 
the Hierophant, before whom he had to kneel down on his 
bare knees, and, with a sword pointed at his throat, had 
to vow fidelity and secrecy, calling sun, moon, and stars to 
witness. His eyes were then unbandaged, and he was placed 



between two spare pillars, called Betilies, where lay a ladder 
of seven steps, behind which were eight doors of different 
metals, of gradually increasing purity. The Hierophant then 
addressing those present as Mene Musae, or Children of the 
Work of Celestial Investigation, exhorted them to govern 
their passions, and fix their thoughts upon God. The candi- 
date was then instructed that the ladder, whose steps he had 
to ascend, was the symbol of the wanderings of the soul ; he 
was told the causes of wind, thunder, and lightning ; he was 
also instructed in anatomy and medicine, in the symbolical 
language, and the ordinary hieroglyphic writing. The 
Hierophant further gave him the password by which the 
initiated recognised one another, and which was Amoun, 
signifying secrecy ; and with it was given the grip, a cap 
shaped like a pyramid, and an apron called Xylon. Around 
his neck he wore a kind of collar, fitting closely to the chest. 
He wore no other clothes, and it was his duty to guard the 
Gate of Men, whenever it came to his turn. 

6 1. Second Degree. The Portophorus having given proofs 
of proficiency, he was, after a long fast, taken into a dark 
chamber, called Endimion, meaning an invitation grotto. 
He now was raised to the degree of Neocoris. Handsome 
women brought him dainty food ; they were the wives of 
the priests, who endeavoured to excite his love. If he 
resisted the temptation, the Thesmophorus again visited, 
and, having catechised him, led him into the assembly, 
where the Stolista, or water-bearer, poured water over him. 
Then the Thesmophorus threw a living serpent on him, and 
drew it away again from under the apron. The whole room 
was, moreover, full of serpents, to test the courage of the 
Neocoris. He was then led to two high pillars, between 
which stood a griffin, driving a wheel before him. The 
pillars symbolised east and west, the griffin the sun, and 
the wheel with four spokes the four seasons. He was 
taught the use of the level, and instructed in geometry 
and architecture. He received a rod, entwined by ser- 
pents, and the password Heve, meaning serpent, and was 
told the story of the fall of man. The sign consisted in 
crossing the arms over the chest. His duty was to wash 
the pillars. 

62. Third Degree, or The Gate of Death. On being initiated 
into this degree, the Neocoris received the name of Melano- 
phoris; he was led into an anteroom, over the entrance to 
which was written : " Gate of Death." The room itself was 
full of representations of embalmed bodies and coffins. And 


as it was the places where corpses were received, the Melano- 
phoris here found the Paraskistes, or persons who dissected 
the bodies, and the Heroi, or persons who embalmed them, 
at their work. In the centre stood the coffin of Osiris. The 
Melanophoris was asked if he had had a hand in the assassi- 
nation of his master. On his denying the question, he was 
seized by two Tapixeites, or men who buried the dead, and 
led into a hall, where he found all the other Melanophores 
clothed in black. The king himself, who always was present 
on these occasions, addressed him, in an apparently friendly 
way, begging him, if he did not feel courage enough to 
undergo the test now to be applied to him, to accept the 
golden crown he was offering him. But the new Melano- 
phoris had previously been instructed to reject the crown 
and tread it under his feet. The king immediately exclaimed, 
''Insult! Revenge!" and raising his sacrificial axe, slightly 
touched the head of the Melanophoris. The two Tapixeites 
cast the Melanophoris on the ground, and the Pariskistes 
wrapped him up in mummy bandages. All present wept. 
Then he was led to a gate, over which was written, " Sanc- 
tuary of the Spirits." On its being opened, thunder and 
lightning struck the apparently dead man. Charon received 
him, as a spirit, into his boat, and carried him to the judges 
of Hades. Pluto sat on his judgment seat, while Rhada- 
manthus and Minos, as well as ^Ethon, Nycreus, Alaster, and 
Orpheus stood beside him. Very severe questions were put 
to him as to his former life, and finally he was sentenced to 
remain in these subterranean vaults. The bandages were 
taken off, and he was instructed never to thirst after blood, 
never to leave a corpse unburied, and to believe in the resur- 
rection of the dead and in a judgment to come. He had 
then to learn painting, to be able to decorate coffins ; was 
taught a peculiar writing, called a hierogrammatical, and in 
which the records of Egypt, and works on cosmography and 
astronomy were written. The sign was a particular kind of 
embrace to express the power of Death. The words were 
"Monarch caron mini" (I count the days of wrath). He 
remained in these subterranean chambers till he showed 
himself worthy of a higher degree. 

63. Fourth Degree, or the Battle of the Shades. The days 
of wrath, lasting generally a year and a half, being over, the 
Thesmophorus came to the Melanophoris, asking him to 
follow him, and giving him at the same time a sword and a 
shield. They passed through dark passages, until they met 
certain persons, presenting a frightful appearance, carrying 


torches and serpents, and attacking them, whilst crying 
" Panis ! " The Thesmophorns encouraged him to defend 
himself bravely. At last he was taken prisoner by them, his 
eyes were bandaged, and a cord was put round his neck. 
Then they dragged him to the hall, where he was to be 
initiated into a new degree, and the spectres or shades 
disappeared. He was led into the assembly, his eyes were 
unbandaged, and he beheld a magnificent hall, hung round 
with fine paintings. The king and the demiurgos, or highest 
officer, were present. All wore their Alydei, an Egyptian 
order (Truth), consisting of a figure formed of sapphires. 
Around them were seated the Stolistes, the Hierestolista, or 
secretary, the Zacoris, or treasurer, and the Komastis, or 
master of feats. The Odos, or orator, then made a speech, 
congratulating the Christophorus his new name on his 
resolution. He was then given a drink, called Cyce (pro- 
bably the same as the /cbfceow, a drink mixed of gruel, water, 
wine, milk, or honey), which he had to drink to the dregs. 
Then he was given the shield of Isis. He put on the boots 
of Anubis, and the cloak and cap of Orcus. He received a 
sword, with which he was to cut off the head of the person he 
was to meet in a cave, and to bring it to the king. Every 
member exclaimed, " Niobe, there is the cave of the enemy! " 
In the cave there was an exceedingly beautiful woman, who 
seemed to be alive, but was artificially formed of fine skins. 
The Christophorus had to seize her by the hair, and cut off 
her head, which he brought to the king, who praised him for 
his daring, and said he had cut off the head of the Gorgon, 
the wife of Typhon, who had been the cause of the death of 
Osiris. He received permission always to wear the dress 
which had been given to him, and his name was entered in a 
book as one of the judges of the land. He could freely 
communicate with the king, and received his daily board 
from the court. He also was invested with an order, which, 
however, he could only wear at the initiation of a Christo- 
phorus, and which represented Isis in the shape of an owl. 
He was further told that the name of the great lawgiver 
was Joa, which was also the password. The Christophori 
held chapters called Pyxon, at which the password was 
Sasychis, the name of an ancient Egyptian priest. He 
had to study the Ammonite language, the secret language, 
because he was now very near acquiring the whole secret. 

64. Fifth Degree: Balaliate. The Christophorus was en- 
titled to this degree : it could not be refused him. He was 
led into a hall, where a theatrical representation took place, 


at which he was the only spectator. A Balahate, styled 
Orus, with other balahates, all carrying torches, went about 
the hall, as if seeking something. After a while Orus drew 
his sword. Typhon was seen sitting in a cave, surrounded 
with flames. Orus approached Typhon, who rose up ; he had 
a hundred heads, and his body was covered with scales, and 
his arms were of extraordinary length. Nevertheless, Orus 
slew him. The new Balahate was then told that Typhon 
signified fire, one of the most terrible elements, without 
which, however, nothing could be done on earth. The pass- 
word in this degree was Chymia, the instruction being in 

65. Sixth Degree: Astronomers at the Gate of the Gods. 
The candidate, on entering the hall of assembly, was bound 
with cords or chains. The Thesmophorus then led him back 
to the Gate of Death, which had many steps, leading to a cave 
full of water. There he saw many corpses of traitors to the 
society. He was threatened with the same fate, and led 
back to take a fresh oath. He was then instructed in astro- 
nomy, and warned against astrology and horoscopy, which 
were detested as the sources of all idolatry and superstition. 
The professors of these false sciences had for their password 
the word Phoenix, at which the astronomers laughed. He 
was then conducted to the Gate of the Gods, which was 
opened, and he beheld all the gods painted on the walls. The 
Demiurgos told him their history, and showed him a list of 
all their members, scattered over the whole world. He was 
taught a priestly dance, symbolising the courses of the 
heavenly bodies. The word was Ibis, the symbol of watch- 

66. Seventh Degree: Propheta. The last and highest degree, 
in which all the secrets were revealed. It could not be con- 
ferred without the consent of the king and of all the higher 
members of the order. Public processions were held, called 
Pamylach, the circumcision of Osiris, i.e., of the tongue. 
When these were over, the members secretly left the city at 
night, and retired to some houses built in a square, and sur- 
rounded by pillars, by the sides of which were placed alter- 
nately a shield and a coffin, whose rooms were painted with 
representations of human life. These houses were called 
maneras, for the people believed them to be visited by the 
manes of departed men. On their arrival at these houses, the 
new member, now called prophet, or Saphenath Pancah,i.e., a 
man who knows the secrets, was given a drink, called oimellas 
(probably consisting of wine and honey), and told that now 


all trials were over. He received a cross of peculiar signifi- 
cance, which he was always to wear. He was clothed in a 
wide, white-striped dress, called etangi. His head was 
shaved ; he wore a square cap. The usual sign was crossing 
his arms in his wide sleeves. He could peruse all the sacred 
books written in the Ammonite language, to which he had 
the key, which was called the Royal Beam. His greatest 
privilege was his having a vote in the election of a king. 
The password was Adon. 

67. Concluding Remarks. Such is the fanciful account of 
the Crata Repoa. I confess my ignorance of the meaning of 
these two mysterious words. The order itself seems not to 
have been known before the year 1785, when the account 
the reader has just been perusing was published in a German 
pamphlet of 32 pages (30 pages text) in I2mo, with no name 
of place or printer. Ragon, who gives a French translation 
of the above in his "Franc-Magonnerie : Rituel du grade de 
Maitre," Paris, N.D., calls his translation an extract from a 
pamphlet of 1 14 pages in 8vo, taken from a large German 
MS. by Brother Koppen, with an interlinear translation into 
French, which was purchased by Brother Antoine Boilleul, 
and in 1821 edited by Brother Ragon. But as Ragon's 
translation agrees word for word with the German pamphlet, 
published in 1785, the German MS. by Brother Koppen was 
either the original composition or a copy of it. Ragon sup- 
poses the Crata Repoa to be a concoction by learned Germans 
of all that is to be found in ancient writers on initiations. 
And the authorities on which the statements in the German 
pamphlet of 1785 are founded are given therein, and are: 
Porphyry, Herodotus, lamblichus, Apuleius, Cicero, Plutarch, 
Eusebius, Arnobius, Diodorus Siculus, Tertullian, Heliodorus, 
Lucian, Rufinus, and some others. 


68. Spread of Egyptian Mysteries. The irradiations of 
the mysteries of Egypt shine through and animate the 
secret doctrines of Phoenicia, Asia Minor, Greece, and Italy. 
Cadmus 1 and Inachus brought them into Greece at large, 
Orpheus into Thrace, Melampus into Argos, Trophonius into 
Boeotia, Minos into Crete, Cinyras into ^Cyprus, and Erech- 
theus into Athens. And as in Egypt the mysteries were 
dedicated to Isis and Osiris, so in Samothrace they were 
sacred to the mother of the gods, in Bceotia to Bacchus, in 
Cyprus to Venus, in Crete to Jupiter, in Athens to Ceres and 
Proserpine, in Amphissa to Castor and Pollux, in Lemnos to 
Vulcan, and so to others in other places ; but their end, as 
well as nature, was the same in all to teach monotheism 
and a future state. 

69. Dionysiac or Bacchic Mysteries. These were divided 
into the greater and the less. The latter were celebrated every 
year at the autumnal equinox, and females were admitted to 
them, wearing the creative emblem suspended round their 
necks. They ended with the sacrifice of an unclean animal, 
which was eaten by the worshippers. Then aspirants and 
initiated proceeded with sacred dances towards the temple. 
The Canephoroi, carrying golden vases full of the choicest 
fruits, were followed by the bearers of the creative emblem, 
who were furnished with long poles, and were crowned with 
ivy, a herb sacred to Bacchus, or the sun personified. Now 
came other celebrants habited as women, but performing all 
the repulsive actions of drunken men. The next night the 
ceremonies of initiation were performed, in which the fable 
of Bacchus slain by the Titans was scenically represented, 
the aspirant acting the part of Bacchus. 

The greater mysteries were celebrated every three years at 

1 Cadmus is not to be understood as signifying a man. The Phoenician 
word " cadm " means the East, hence the meaning is that the mysteries 
and learning came from that quarter. 



the vernal equinox, in the neighbourhood of a marsh, like the 
festival of Sais, in Egypt. On the night preceding the ini- 
tiation the spouse of the hierophant sacrificed a ram. She 
represented the spouse of Bacchus, and when seated as such 
on the throne, the priests and initiated of both sexes ex- 
claimed : " Hail spouse, hail new light ! " The aspirant was 
purified by fire, water, and air, passing through trials similar 
to those described elsewhere (e.g., 42), and finally, was in- 
troduced into the sanctuary crowned with myrtle and dressed 
in the skin of a fawn. 

70. Sabazian Mysteries. Sabazius was a name of Bacchus, 
probably derived from Siva, whose astronomical meaning is 
the planetary system of countless suns and stars, The 
mysteries were performed at night, and represented the 
amours of Jupiter, in the form of a serpent, and Proserpina. 
A golden others say a living serpent was introduced into 
the bosom of the candidate, who exclaimed, " Evoe ! Sabai ! 
Bacchi ! Anes ! Attes ! Hues ! " Evoe or Eve in most lan- 
guages of antiquity meant both serpent and life; whence 
Adam's wife was so called, and whence the origin of the 
serpent-worship of the ancient world. When Moses lifted 
up a brazen serpent in the Wilderness, the afflicted Hebrews 
knew that it was a sign of preservation. Sabai has already 
been explained; Hues and Attes were other names of Bacchus. 
These mysteries continued to be celebrated to the last days 
of paganism, and in the days of Domitian, 7000 initiated 
were found in Rome alone. 

71. Mysteries of the Cabiri. The name of the Cabiri was 
derived originally from Phoenicia; the word signifies "power- 
ful." There were four gods Aschieros, Achiochersus, 
Achiochersa, and Cashmala, answering to the Ceres, Pluto, 
Proserpina, and Camillus of the Greeks. The last was 
slain by his three brothers, who carried away with them 
the reproductive organs ; and this allegorical murder was 
celebrated in the secret rites. Camillus is the same as Osiris, 
Adonis, and others, all subject to the same mutilation, all 
symbolising the sun's loss of generative power during winter. 
The chief places for the celebration of these mysteries were 
the islands of Samothrace and Lemnos. The priests were 
called Corybantes. There is much perplexity connected with 
this subject; since, besides what is mentioned above, the 
mysteries are also said to have been instituted in honour 
of Atys, the son of Cybele. Atys means the sun, and the 
mysteries were celebrated at the vernal equinox, and there 
cannot, therefore, be any doubt that, like all the other 


mysteries in their period of decay, they represented the 
enigmatical death of the sun in winter and his regeneration 
in the spring. The ceremonies lasted three days. The first 
day was one of sadness : a cruciform pine with the image of 
Atys attached to it was cut down, the mutilated body of 
Atys having been discovered at the foot of such a tree ; the 
second day was a day of trumpets, which were blown to 
awaken the god from his deathlike sleep ; and the third 
day, that of joy, was the day of initiation and celebration of 
his return to life. 

72. Eleusinian Mysteries. The Eleusinian mysteries were 
celebrated in honour of Ceres, the Isis of Greece ; whilst 
Osiris appears as Proserpine for the death of Osiris and 
the carrying off of Proserpine to the infernal regions sym- 
bolise the same thing, viz., the sun's disappearance during 
the winter season. The mysteries were originally celebrated 
only at Eleusis, a town of Attica, but eventually extended 
to Italy and even to Britain. Like all other mysteries, they 
were divided into the greater and the less, and the latter, 
like the Bacchic and Cabiric rites, lasted nine days, and 
were merely preparatory, consisting of lustrations and sacri- 
fices. The ceremonies of initiation into the greater mysteries 
were opened by the herald exclaiming : " Eetire, ye pro- 
fane." A flat piece of wood, such as in England is called a 
whizzer, or bull-roarer, or a wheel (the p6/-t/3o?), was whirled 
round, at the same time, so as to produce a roaring sound. 
(For a curious parallel see "Miscellaneous Societies.") The 
aspirant was presented naked, to signify his total helplessness 
and dependence on Providence. He was clothed with the 
skin of a calf. An oath of secrecy was then administered, 
and he was asked : " Have you eaten bread ? " The reply was 
"No." Proserpine cannot return to the earth because she 
has eaten of the fruit of the infernal regions ; Adam falls 
when he tastes of earthly fruit. " I have drunk the sacred 
mixture, I have been fed from the basket of Ceres ; I have 
laboured ; I have entered into the bed." That is to say, he 
had been placed in the pastes, in which the aspirant for ini- 
tiation was immured during the period of his probation (42). 
He was then made to pass through a series of trials, similar 
in character to those adopted in other mysteries, after which 
he was introduced into the inner temple, where he beheld 
the statue of the goddess Ceres, surrounded by a dazzling 
light. The candidate, who had heretofore been called a 
mystes, or novice, was now termed epoptes, or eye-witness, 
and the secret doctrine was revealed. The assembly was then 


closed with the Sanscrit words. " Konx om pax" According 
to Captain Wilford, the words Canscha om Pacsha, of which 
the above is a Greek corruption, are still used at the re- 
ligious meetings and ceremonies of the Brahmin another 
proof, if it were needed, that the mysteries are of Eastern 
origin. Canscha signifies the object of our most ardent 
desires; om is the monosyllable used at the beginning and 
end of a prayer, answering to our word amen, and pacsha is 
equivalent to the obsolete Latin word vix, meaning change, 
turn, or fortune. 

We know very little of the mysteries of ancient Yucatan, 
but from what has come down to us through the Maya, or 
native language, we know this remarkable fact, that the 
priests dismissed their mystic congregations with the words 
" Con-ex Omon Pault ! " meaning " Strangers, depart." It is 
also noteworthy that they used the symbols of ancient Egypt, 
and that the doors of their temples devoted to the mys- 
teries, such as those at Labnah and Uxmal, had the same 

shape f j as those of the Chaldean temples, or of the 

Great Pyramid of Ghizeh. It will be noticed that in this 
figure, the two ends being closed with doors, you have an 
apartment with seven plane surfaces, exclusive of the floor. 

73. Doors of Horn and Ivory. The sixth book of the 
"JEneid," and the "Golden Ass" of Apuleius, contain 
descriptions of what passed in the celebration of the Eleu- 
sinian Mysteries. In the former work, ^Eneas and his guide, 
having finished their progress through the infernal regions, 
are dismissed through the ivory gate of dreams. But there 
was another gate of horn through which the aspirant entered ; 
for all caverns of initiation had two gates, one called the 
descent to hell, the other the ascent of the just. The ancient 
poets said that through the gate of horn issued true visions, 
and through the gate of ivory false. Now from this, and the 
fact that ^Eneas and his guide issue through it, it has been 
inferred by some critics that Virgil meant to intimate that 
all he had said concerning the infernal regions was to be con- 
sidered a fable. But such could not be the poet's intention. 
What he really implied was that a future state was a real 
state, whilst the representations thereof in the mysteries 
were only shadows. The ivory gate itself was no other than 
the sumptuous door of the temple, through which the initiated 
came out when the ceremony was over. 

74. Suppression of Eleusinian Mysteries. These mysteries 


survived all others; they shone with great splendour when 
the secret worship of the Cabiri, and even of Egypt, had 
already disappeared, and were not suppressed until the year 
396 of our era by the pitiless Theodosius the Great, who, in 
his zeal for the Christian religion, committed the greatest 
cruelties against unbelievers. 

75. The Thesmophoria. The term signifies a legislative 
festival, and refers specially to the symbolic rites forming part 
of the festival consecrated to Ceres, who was said to have 
given to the Greeks sound laws founded on agriculture and 
property, in memory of which chosen women in the solemn 
processions of the Thesmophoria carried at Eleusis the 
tablets on which the laws were written ; hence the name of 
the festival, which was one of legislation and semination. 
We have only fragmentary notices concerning these festivals, 
though we derive some information from Aristophanes' 
" Thesmophoriazusse,'' which, however, is very slight, as it 
would have been dangerous for him, in alluding to these 
mysteries, to employ more than general and simple designp- 
tions. We discover, however, that they were celebrated in 
the month of October, and lasted three or four days. Females 
only took part in them, and it was death for a man to enter 
the temple. Every tribe of Athens chose two females, born 
in wedlock and married, and distinguished for virtue. The 
men who possessed a capital of three talents were compelled 
to give their wives the money necessary to defray the cost 
of the festivals. For nine days also there was to be total 
forbearance between married couples ; for the Thesmophoria 
not only had reference to agriculture, but also to the more 
intimate relations between man and wife. As Ceres, or the 
Earth, mourned for the absence of Proserpine, or the sun, so 
the Athenian women mourned during the celebration for the 
absence of the light of love. 

76. Aim of Grecian Mysteries more Moral than Religious. 
The object of the initiation into the mysteries of Greece was 
more moral than religious, differing in this from the Indian 
and Egyptian mysteries, that were religious, scientific, 
and political. For at the time of their introduction into 
Greece science had ceased to be the prerogative of the few ; 
the political life of that country had stirred up the energy 
of the people and made it the architect of its own greatness. 
We therein behold already the dawn of a new era, the 
decay of the ancient Nature-worship, and a tendency to, and 
endeavour on the part of mankind after, inquiry and free 
striving to overcome Nature, which is diametrically opposed 


to the spirit of antiquity, which consisted in the total resig- 
nation and surrender of the individual to the influences of 
the All. Pythagoras was one of the first representatives 
of this new tendency. He divided his followers into exoterics 
and esoterics. After his death the latter joined the Orphic 
league, so called after the fabulous singer Orpheus. The 
hymns attributed to him were probably composed by Ono- 
makritos (circa 5 16 B.C.). They breathe the spirit of what in 
modern phraseology would be called pietism, though repre- 
senting the worship of Dionysius instead of that of Christ. 
The Orpheothelestes, as the vagabondising priests of the 
league were styled, became notorious as mountebanks and 


77. Chinese Metaphysics. In Chinese cosmogony we dis- 
cover traces of the once universally prevailing knowledge of 
the properties of eternal Nature. Matter the first material 
principle is assumed to act upon itself, and thus to evolve 
the dual powers. This first material principle is called Tai- 
Keik, and described as the first link in the chain of causes ; 
it is the utmost limit in the midst of illimitableness, though 
in the midst of nonentity there always existed an infinite 
Le, or "principle of order." The Le is called infinite, be- 
cause it is impossible to represent it by any figure, since it 
is the " Eternal Nothing." This undoubted fragmentary tra- 
dition of the most ancient metaphysical system in the world 
has been ridiculed by many modern writers ; but any reader 
will see that, however imperfectly expressed, it is the theo- 
sophic doctrine. It appears very strikingly in the great 
veneration in which the Chinese hold the number seven, 
which is the number of death, of destruction, as the material 
end, and the celestial beginning (n). 

78. Introduction of Chinese Mysteries. The Chinese prac- 
tised Buddhism in its most simple form, and worshipped an 
invisible God, until a few centuries before the Christian era. 
From the teaching of Confucius, who lived five centuries 
before that era, it appears that in his time there were no 
mysteries; they only became necessary when the Chinese 
became an idolatrous nation. The chief end of initiation then 
was an absorption into the deity 0-Mi-To Fo. Omito was 
derived from the Sanscrit Armida, "immeasurable," and Fo 
was only another name for Buddha. The letter Y repre- 
sented the triune God, and was indeed the ineffable name of 
the Deity, the Tetractys of Pythagoras, and the Tetragram- 
maton of the Jews. The rainbow was a celebrated symbol 
in the mysteries, for it typified the reappearance of the sun ; 
and this not only in China, but even in Mexico (85). 

79. Parallel between Buddhism and Christianity. The 



general resemblance between Buddhism and Romanism is 
so marked, that it is acknowledged by the Romanists them- 
selves, who account for this fact by the supposition that 
Satan counterfeited the true religion. This correspondence 
holds in minute particulars. 

Buddha descended, as the legend says, from heaven to be 
born as a man, the avowed purpose of his mission being to 
give peace and rest to all flesh, to remove all sorrow and grief 
from the world, and to preach the truth. At the time of his 
birth a bright light shone through the universe, and the 
devas who announced his entrance into the world, saluted 
his mother with the words : " All joy be to you, Queen Maya ! 
Rejoice and be glad, for the child you have borne is holy ! " 
We have seen in 1 1 that Maya is a virgin the worship 
also of Simon in the Temple finds its reflection in the adora- 
tion paid by the venerable Axite to the infant Buddha. 
Further, the Buddhist and the Christian (Roman Catholic) 
Church have a supreme and infallible head ; we find in both 
the celibacy of the priesthood, monasteries, and nunneries, 
prayers in an unknown tongue, prayers to saints and inter- 
cessors, and especially, and principally too, a virgin with a 
child ; also prayers for the dead, repetition of prayers with 
the use of a rosary, works of merit and supererogation ; self- 
imposed austerities and bodily inflictions; a formal daily 
service, consisting of chants, burning of candles, sprinkling 
of holy water, bowings, prostrations ; fast days and feast 
days, religious processions, images and pictures and fabulous 
legends, the worship of relics, the sacrament of confession, 
purgatory, &c. In some respects their rites resemble those 
of the Jews ; they propitiate the Supreme Deity with the 
blood of bulls and goats, and also offered holocausts. The 
resemblance is easily accounted for. Romanism and some 
other creeds are only modernised Buddhism ; and many reli- 
gions are but superstitious perversions of the knowledge of 
natural phenomena. The tradition about Prester John has 
its origin in this resemblance between Buddhism and a cor- 
rupted Christianity. In the twelfth century there was in 
China a great Mongol tribe professing Buddhism, which by 
travellers was mistaken for an Oriental Christian religion. 
The Nestorian Christians, dwelling among the Mongols, 
called its head John the, Priest, and hence arose the tradition 
that in the heart of Asia there was a Christian Church, whose 
popes bore the title of Prester John. 

80. Lau-Tze. Confucius was the religious lawgiver of 
China, but Lau-Tze was its philosopher. He excelled the 


former in depth and independence of thought. The word 
Lau, or Z/e, is difficult to render ; the Chinese itself defines it 
as " a thing indefinite, impalpable, and yet therein are forms." 
Lau-Tze himself seems to make it equivalent to "intelli- 
gence." His philosophy is peaceful and loving, and in this 
respect presents various commendable points of resemblance 
to Christian doctrine. 

8 1 . Japanese Mysteries. The Japanese held that the world 
was enclosed in an egg before the creation, which egg was 
broken by a bull the ever-recurring astronomical allegory, 
alluding to the Bull of the zodiac, which in former times 
opened the seasons, the vernal equinox. It is the same bull 
Apis which Egypt adored (51), and which the Jews in the 
Wilderness worshipped as the golden calf ; also the bull which, 
sacrificed in the mysteries of Mithras, poured out its blood to 
fertilise the earth. The Japanese worshipped a deity who 
was styled the Son of the Unknown God, considered the 
creator of sun and moon, and called Tensio-Dai-Sin. The 
aspirants for initiation were conducted through artificial 
spheres, formed of movable circles, representing the revolu- 
tions of the planets. The mirror was a significant emblem of 
the all-seeing eye of their chief deity (n). In the closing 
ceremony of preparation the candidate was enclosed in the 
pastos, the door of which was said to be guarded by a terrible 
divinity, armed with a drawn sword. During the course of 
his probation the aspirant sometimes acquired so high a 
degree of enthusiasm as to refuse to quit his confinement in 
the pastos, and to remain there until he literally perished of 
famine. To this voluntary martyrdom was attached a pro- 
mise of never-ending happiness hereafter. Their creed indeed 
is Buddhism slightly modified. " Diabolo ecclesiam Christi 
imitante ! " exclaimed Xavier, on seeing how the practices of 
the Japanese resembled those of the Romanists in Europe ; 
and, as has been observed of Buddhism in China and Thibet, 
all the practices of the Japanese ritual are so tinged with 
the colour of Romanism, that they might well justify the 
exclamation of Xavier, who was neither a savant nor a 

82. Japanese Doctrines. The god Tensio-Dai-Sin has twelve 
apostles, and the sun, the planetary hero, fights with monsters 
and the elements. The ministers of the Temple of the Sun 
wear tunics of the colour of fire, and annually celebrate four 
festivals, the third day of the third month, the fifth day of 
the fifth, the seventh day of the seventh, and the ninth day 
of the ninth month respectively ; and at one of these festivals 

VOL. I. E 


they represent a myth similar to that of Adonis, and Nature 
is personified by a priest dressed in many colours. The 
members of this society are called Jammabos, and the initiated 
are enjoined a long time to abstain from meat and to prepare 
themselves by many purifications. 

83. The Lama. The Grand Lama, the god of Thibet, 
becomes incarnate in man; thus much the priests reveal to 
the people. But the true religion, which consists of the 
doctrine of the supposed origin of the world, is only made 
known in the almost inaccessible mysteries. The man in 
whom the Grand Lama has for the time become incarnate, 
and who is the pontiff, is held in such veneration, that the 
people eat pastilles, accounted sacred, and made from the 
unclean remains of the food which had contributed to the 
sustenance of his body. This disgusting practice, however, 
with them is simply the result of their belief in the metem- 
psychosis parallel with the Indian doctrine of corruption 
and reproduction, symbolised by the use of cow-dung in 
the purification of the aspirant ; and its real meaning is 
to show that all the parts of the universe are incessantly 
absorbed, and pass into the substance of one another. It is 
upon the model of the serpent who devours his tail. The 
dignity of the Lama dates from the thirteenth century. In 
the fourteenth a portion of the clergy seceded and formed a 
rival sect ; the two religious bodies are distinguished and 
known by the titles of the Bed Tassels and the Yellow 
Caps, from their headgear. 


84. American Aborigines. Ethnologists can tell us as yet 
nothing as to the origin of the earliest inhabitants of the 
American continent; but if the reader will accept the theory 
propounded in the introduction to this work (6-9), he will 
be at no loss to answer the question. As Nature in Asia 
brought forth the Caucasian races, so in the western hemi- 
sphere it gave birth to the various races peopling it. That 
one of them was a highly civilised race in prehistoric times 
is proved by the ruins of beautiful cities discovered in 
Central America; and all the antiquarian remains show that 
the religion of Mexico and Peru was substantially the same 
as that practised by the various nations of the East ; and 
naturally so, for the moral and physical laws of the universe 
are everywhere the same, and, working in the same manner, 
produce the same results, only modified by climatic and local 

85. Mexican Deities. The religious system of the Mexi- 
cans bore a character of dark and gloomy austerity. They 
worshipped many deities, the chief of which were Teotl, the 
invisible and supreme being ; Virococha, the creator ; Vitzli- 
putzli or Heritzilopochtli, the god of mercy, to whom the 
most sanguinary rites were offered (which proves that the 
Mexican priests were quite as inconsistent in this respect 
as the priestly bigots of Europe, who, in the name of the 
God of mercy, tortured, racked, and burnt millions that 
differed from whatever creed had been set up as the ortho- 
dox and legalised one) ; Tescalipuca, the god of vengeance ; 
Quetzalcoatl, the Mexican Mercury, whose name signifies the 
" serpent clothed with green feathers " ; Mictlaneiheratl, the 
goddess of hell ; Tlaloc-teatli, or Neptune ; and Ixciana, or 
Venus. To Vitzliputzli was ascribed the renovation of the 
world, and his name referred to the sun. He was said to be 
the offspring of a virgin, who was impregnated by a plume 
of feathers, which descended from heaven into her bosom, 


invested with all the colours of the rainbow (78). He was 
represented in the figure of a man, with a dread-inspiring 
aspect. He was seated on an azure globe over a lofty altar, 
which was borne in procession during the celebration of tbe 
mysteries on a litter of sky-coloured blue; he had a blue 
forehead, and a blue streak across his nose, as blue was the 
dominating colour in the Jewish tabernacle, showing an 
astronomical signification in both cases. We have already 
seen (42) that Vishnu was painted blue. His right hand 
grasped a snake, the symbol of life, and representations of 
this reptile are found on all the temples of Mexico and Peru. 
Traces of the serpent-worship of the Western world are also 
found in the States of Ohio and Iowa, where serpent mounds, 
formed of earth, I coo feet long or more, are still to be found. 
The office of Tescalipuca was to punish the sins of men by 
the infliction of plagues, famine, and pestilence. His anger 
could only be appeased by human sacrifices thousands of 
men were frequently immolated to him in one single day. 

86. Cruelty of Mexican Worship. The temples of Mexico 
were full of horrible idols, which were all bathed and washed 
with human blood. The chapel of Vitzliputzli was decorated 
with the skulls of the wretches that had been slain in sacrifice ; 
the walls and floor were inches thick with blood, and before 
the image of the god might often be seen the still palpitating 
hearts of the human victims offered up to him, whose skins 
served the priests for garments. The revolting custom, as a 
legend says. arose from the fact that Tozi, the "Grand Mother," 
was of human extraction. Vitzliputzli procured her divine 
honours by enjoining the Mexicans to demand her of her 
father for their queen ; this being done, they also commanded 
him to put her to death, afterwards to flay her, and to cover 
a young man with her skin. It was in this manner she was 
stripped of her humanity, to be placed among the gods. 
Another disgusting practice arising from this legend will 
be mentioned hereafter. 

87. Initiation into Mysteries. The candidate had to undergo 
all the terrors, sufferings, and penances practised in the 
Eastern world. He was scourged with knotted cords, his 
flesh was cut with knives, and reeds put into the wounds, 
that the blood might be seen to trickle more freely, or they 
were cauterised with red-hot cinders. Many perished under 
these trials. The lustrations were performed, not with water, 
but with blood, and the candidate's habit was not white, but 
black, and before initiation he was given a drink, which was 
said to dispel fear, which, indeed, it may have done in some 


degree by disturbing the brain. The candidate was then led 
into the dark caverns of initiation, excavated beneath the 
foundations of the mighty pyramidal temple of Vitzliputzli in 
Mexico, and passed through the mysteries which symbolically 
represented the wanderings of their gods, i.e., the course of 
the sun through the signs of the zodiac. The caverns were 
called "the path of the dead." Everything that could appal 
the imagination and test his courage was made to appear before 
him. Now he heard shrieks of despair and the groans of the 
dying ; he was led past the dungeons where the human vic- 
tims, being fattened for sacrifice, were confined, and through 
caverns slippery with half-congealed blood; anon he met 
with the quivering frame of the dying man, whose heart 
had just been torn from his body and offered up to their 
sanguinary god, and looking up he beheld in the roof the 
orifice through which the victims had been precipitated, for 
they were now immediately under the altar of Vitzliputzli. At 
length, however, he arrived at a narrow chasm or stone fissure, 
at the end of this extensive range of caverns, through which 
he was formally protruded, and received by a shouting mul- 
titude as a person regenerated or born again. The females, 
divesting themselves of their little clothing, danced in a state 
of nudity like the frantic Bacchantes, and having repeated the 
dance three times, they gave themselves up to unbounded 

88. The Greater Mysteries. But as with Eastern nations, 
the Mexicans had, besides the general religious doctrines 
communicated to the initiated, an esoteric doctrine, only 
attainable by the priests, and not even by them until they 
had qualified themselves for it by the sacrifice of a human 
victim. The most ineffable degrees of knowledge were 
imparted to them at midnight, and under severe obligations, 
whose disregard entailed death without remission. The real 
doctrine taught was astronomical, and, like the Eastern nations, 
they at their great festivals lamented the disappearance of 
the sun, and rejoiced at its reappearance at the festival of 
the new fire, as it was called. All fire, even the sacred fire 
of the temple, having been extinguished, the population of 
Mexico, with the priests at their head, marched to a hill 
near the city, where they waited till the Pleiades ascended 
the middle of the sky, when they sacrificed a human victim. 
The instrument made use of by the priests to kindle the fire 
was placed on the wound made in the breast of the prisoner 
destined to be sacrificed ; and, when the fire was kindled, 
the body was placed on an enormous pile ready prepared, 


and this latter set on fire. The new fire, received with joyful 
shouts, was carried from village to village, where it was de- 
posited in the temple, whence it was distributed to every 
private dwelling. When the sun appeared on the horizon 
the acclamations were renewed. The priests were further 
taught the doctrine of immortality, of a triune deity, of the 
original population, who led by the god Vitzliputzli, hold- 
ing in his hand a rod formed like a serpent, and seated in a 
square ark finally settled upon a lake, abounding with the 
lotus, where they erected their tabernacle. This lake was 
the lake in the midst of which the city of Mexico originally 

89. Human Sacrifices. No priest was to be fully initiated 
into the mysteries of the Mexican religion until he had 
sacrificed a human victim. This horrible rite, which the 
Spaniards, who conquered the country, often saw performed 
on their own captive countrymen, was thus performed : 
The chief priest carried in his hand a large and sharp knife 
made of flint ; another priest carried a collar of wood; the 
other four priests who assisted arranged themselves adjoin- 
ing the pyramidal stone, which had a convex top, so that 
the man to be sacrificed, being laid thereon on his back, was 
bent in such a manner that the stomach separated upon the 
slightest incision of the knife. Two priests seized hold of 
his feet and two more of his hands, whilst the fifth fastened 
round his neck the collar of wood. The high priest then 
opened his stomach with the knife, and tearing out his 
heart, held it up to the sun, and then threw it before the 
idol in one of the chapels on the top of the great pyramid 
where the rite was performed. The body was finally cast 
down the steps that wound all round the building. Forty 
or fifty victims were thus sacrificed in a few hours. 
Prisoners of rank or approved courage might escape this 
horrid death by fighting six Mexican warriors in succession. 
If they were successful, their lives and liberty were granted 
to them ; but if they fell under the strokes of their adver- 
saries, they were dragged, dead or living, to the sacrificial 
stone, and their hearts torn out. 

90. Clothing in Bloody Skins. We have already seen 
that the priests were clothed in the bloody skins of their 
victims. The same horrid custom was practised on other 
occasions. On certain festivals they dressed a man in the 
bloody skin just reeking from the body of a victim. Kings 
and grandees did not think it derogatory to their dignity to 
disguise themselves in this manner, and to run up and down 


the streets soliciting alms, which were applied to pious pur- 
poses. This horrible masquerade continued till the skin 
began to grow putrid. On another festival they would slay 
a woman and clothe a man with her skin, who, thus equipped, 
danced for two days together with the rest of his fellow- 

91. Peruvian Mysteries. The Incas, or rulers of Peru, 
boasted of their descent from the sun and moon, which 
therefore were worshipped, as well as the great god Pacha- 
Camac, whose very name was so sacred that it was only 
communicated to the initiated ; it means, " He who sustains 
or gives life to the universe." No temples were erected to 
this deity. They also had an idol they termed Tangatango, 
meaning " One in three and three in one." Their secret 
mysteries, of which we know next to nothing, were cele- 
brated on their great annual festival, held on the first day of 
the September moon, the people watching all night until 
the rising of the sun ; and when he appeared the eastern 
doors of the great temple of Cuzco were thrown open, so 
that the sun's radiance could illuminate his image in gold 
placed opposite. The walls and ceiling of this temple were 
all covered over with gold plates, and the figure of the sun, 
representing a round face, surrounded with rays and flames, 
as modern painters usually draw the sun, was of such a 
size as almost to cover one side of the wall. It was, more- 
over, double the thickness of the plates covering the walls. 
The Virgins of the Sun, who, like the Vestals of ancient 
Rome, had the keeping of the sacred fire entrusted to them, 
and were vowed to perpetual celibacy, then walked round 
the altar, whilst the priests expounded the mild and equit- 
able laws of Peru ; for, contrary to the practice of their 
near neighbours, the Mexicans, the Peruvians had not their 
sanguinary rites ; though some Spanish writers, who, of 
course, could see no good in non-Catholics and pagans, 
charged them with sacrificing young children of from four 
to six years old "in prodigious numbers," and also with 
slaying virgins. The Spaniards, no doubt, alluded to some 
ill-understood symbolical rite. But the Peruvians did on 
rare occasions, to celebrate a great public event, for instance, 
immolate human beings, a child or young maiden being 
usually selected. Everywhere we find the priesthood de- 
lighting in blood! 

92. Quiches Initiation. In 79 we have seen that the 
people speaking the Maya language had their mysteries. 
Another tribe of that same people, the Quiches of Xibalba, 


in the heart of the mountains of Guatemala, had an initiation 
of their own. Popol-Vuh, their sacred book, says that the 
applicant had to pass two rivers, one of mud, and the other 
of blood, before reaching the four roads leading to the 
place where the priest awaited him. He was then told to 
sit down, but the seat was burning hot. In the Dark House 
he passed the night and underwent two trials ; the third he 
underwent in the House of Spears, where he had to produce 
flowers without bringing them, and to fight spearmen ; the 
fourth trial took place in the Ice House, the fifth in the 
Tiger House, the sixth in the Fiery House, and the seventh 
in the House of Bats, the House of Camazotz, god of the 
Bats, where the god himself appeared and beheaded the 
aspirant if off his guard. 


93. The Druids, the Magi of the West. The secret doc- 
trines of the Druids were much the same as those of the 
Gynmosophists and Brahmins of India, the Magi of Persia, 
the priests of Egypt, and of all other priests of antiquity. 
Like them, they had two sets of religious doctrines, exoteric 
and esoteric. Their rites were practised in Britain and Gaul, 
though they were brought to a much greater perfection in 
the former country, where the Isle of Anglesey was con- 
sidered their chief seat. The word Druid is generally sup- 
posed to be derived from SpO?, " an oak," which tree was 
particularly sacred among them, though its etymology may 
also be found in the Gaelic word Druidh, "a wise man," or 
" magician." 

94. Temples. Their temples, wherein the sacred fire was 
preserved, were generally situate on eminences and in dense 
groves of oaks, and assumed various forms circular, because 
a circle was an emblem of the universe ; oval, in allusion to 
the mundane egg, from which, according to the traditions of 
many nations, the universe, or according to others, our first 
parents, issued ; serpentine, because a serpent was the 
symbol of Hu, the Druidic Osiris ; cruciform, because a cross 
is an emblem of regeneration (53); or winged, to represent 
the motion of the divine spirit. Their only canopy was the 
sky, and they were constructed of unhewn stones, their 
numbers having reference to astronomical calculations. In 
the centre was placed a stone of larger dimensions than the 
others, and worshipped as the representative of the Deity. 
The three principal temples of this description in Britain 
were undoubtedly those of Stonehenge and Abury in the 
south, and that of Shap in Cumberland. Where stone was 
scarce, rude banks of earth were substituted, and the temple 
was formed of a high vallum and ditch. The most herculean 
labours were performed in their construction ; Stukeley says 
that it would cost, at the present time, 20,000 to throw up 
such a mound as Silbury Hill. 



95. Places of Initiation. The adytum or ark of the mys- 
teries was called a cromlech or dolmen, and was used as 
the sacred pastos, or place of regeneration. It consisted of 
three upright stones, as supporters of a broad, flat stone laid 
across them on the top, so as to form a small cell. Kit 
Cotey's House, in Kent, was such a pastos. Considerable 
space, however, was necessary for the machinery of initia- 
tion in its largest and most comprehensive scale. Therefore, 
the Coer Sidi, where the mysteries of Druidism were per- 
formed, consisted of a range of buildings, adjoining the 
temple, containing apartments of all sizes, cells, vaults, 
baths, and long and artfully contrived passages, with all the 
apparatus of terror used on these occasions. Most frequently 
these places were subterranean ; and many of the caverns in 
this country were the scenes of Druidical initiation. The 
stupendous grotto at Castleton, in Derbyshire, called by 
Stukeley the Stygian Cave, as well as the giants' caves at 
Luckington and Badminster, in Wilts, certainly were used 
for this purpose. 

96. Bites. The system of Druidism embraced every re- 
ligious and philosophical pursuit then known in these islands. 
The rites bore an undoubted reference to astronomical facts. 
Their chief deities are reducible to two a male and a female, 
the great father and mother, Hu and Ceridwen, distinguished 
by the same characteristics as belonged to Osiris and Isis, 
Bacchus and Ceres, or any other supreme god and goddess 
representing the two principles of all being. The grand 
periods of initiation were quarterly, and determined by the 
course of the sun, and his arrival at the equinoctial and 
solstitial points. But the time of annual celebration was 
May-eve, when fires were kindled on all the cairns and 
cromlechs throughout the island, which burned all night to 
introduce the sports of May-day, whence all the national 
sports formerly or still practised date their origin. Round 
these fires choral dances were performed in honour of the 
sun, who, at this season, was figuratively said to rise from 
his tomb. The festival was licentious, and continued till the 
luminary had attained his meridian height, when priests and 
attendants retired to the woods, where the most disgraceful 
orgies were perpetrated. But the solemn initiations were 
performed at midnight, and contained three degrees, the 
first or lowest being the Eubates, the second the Bards, and 
the third the Druids. The candidate was first placed in the 
pastos bed, or coffin, where his symbolical death represented 
the death of Hu, or the sun; and his restoration in the third 


degree symbolised the resurrection of the sun. He had to 
undergo trials and tests of courage similar to those practised 
in the mysteries of other countries (e.g., 27), and which, 
therefore, need not be detailed here. 

The festival of the 2$th of December was celebrated with 
great fires lighted on the tops of the hills, to announce 
the birth-day of the god Sol. This was the moment when, 
after the supposed winter solstice, he began to increase, and 
gradually to ascend. This festival indeed was kept not by the 
Druids only, but throughout the ancient world, from India 
to Ultima Thule. The fires, of course, were typical of the 
power and ardour of the sun, whilst the evergreens used on 
the occasion foreshadowed the results of the sun's renewed 
action on vegetation. The festival of the summer solstice 
was kept on the 24th of June. Both days are still kept as 
festivals in the Christian Church, the former as Christmas, 
the latter as St. John's Day ; because the early Christians 
judiciously adopted not only the festival days of the pagans, 
but also, so far as this could be done with propriety, their 
mode of keeping them ; substituting, however, a theological 
meaning for astronomical allusions. The use of evergreens 
in churches at Christmas time is the Christian perpetuation 
of an ancient Druidic custom. 

97. Doctrines. The Druids taught the doctrine of one 
supreme being, a future state of rewards and punishments, 
the immortality of the soul, and a metempsychosis. It was 
a maxim with them that water was the first principle of all 
things, and existed before the creation in unsullied purity 
(ii), which seems a contradiction to their other doctrine 
that day was the offspring of night, because night or chaos 
was in existence before day was created. They taught that 
time was only an intercepted fragment of eternity, and that 
there was an endless succession of worlds. In fact, their 
doctrines were chiefly those of Pythagoras. They enter- 
tained great veneration for the numbers three, seven, nine- 
teen (the Metonic cycle), and one hundred and forty-seven, 
produced by multiplying the square of seven by three. 
They also practised vaticination, pretending to predict 
future events from the flights of birds, human sacrifices, by 
white horses, the agitation of water, and lots. They seem, 
however, to have possessed considerable scientific know- 

98. Political and Judicial Power. Their authority in 
many cases exceeded that of the monarch. They were, of 
course, the sole interpreters of religion, and consequently 


superintended all sacrifices ; for no private person was 
allowed to offer a sacrifice without their sanction. They 
possessed the power of excommunication, which was the 
most horrible punishment that could be inflicted next to 
that of death, and from the effects of which the highest 
magistrate was not exempt. The great council of the realm 
was not competent to declare war or conclude peace without 
their concurrence. They determined all disputes by a final 
and unalterable decision, and had the power of inflicting 
the punishment of death. And, indeed, their altars streamed 
with the blood of human victims. Holocausts of men, 
women, and children, inclosed in large towers of wicker- 
work, were sometimes sacrificed as a burnt-offering to their 
superstitions, which were, at the same time, intended to en- 
hance the consideration of the priests, who were an ambitious 
race delighting in blood. The Druids, it is said, preferred 
such as had been guilty of theft, robbery, or other crimes, 
as most acceptable to their gods ; but when there was a 
scarcity of criminals, they made no scruple to supply their 
place with innocent persons. These dreadful sacrifices were 
offered by the Druids, for the public, on the eve of a 
dangerous war, or in the time of any national calamity ; and 
also for particular persons of high rank, when they were 
afflicted with any dangerous disease. 

99. Priestesses. The priestesses, clothed in white, and 
wearing a metal girdle, foretold the future from the obser- 
vation of natural phenomena, but more especially from 
human sacrifices. For them was reserved the frightful task 
of putting to death the prisoners taken in war, and indi- 
viduals condemned by the Druids ; and their auguries were 
drawn from the manner in which the blood issued from the 
many wounds inflicted, and also from the smoking entrails. 
Many of these priestesses maintained a perpetual virginity, 
others gave themselves up to the most luxurious excesses. 
They dwelt on lonely rocks, beaten by the waves of the 
ocean, which the mariners looked upon as temples surrounded 
with unspeakable prodigies. Thus the island of Sena or 
Liambis, The Saints, near Ushant, where Merlin was said to 
have been born, was the residence of nine of these priestesses, 
who delivered oracles to sailors ; and there was no power 
that was not attributed to them. Others, living near the 
mouth of the Loire, once a year destroyed their temple, 
scattered its materials, and, having collected others, built a 
new one of course a symbolical ceremony ; and if one of 
the priestesses dropped any of the sacred materials, the 


others fell upon her with fierce yells, tore her to pieces, and 
scattered her bleeding limbs. 

TOO. Abolition. As the Romans gained ground the power 
of the Druids gradually declined ; and they were finally 
assailed by Suetonius Paulinus, governor of Britain under 
Nero, A.D. 6 1, in their stronghold, the Isle of Anglesey, 
and entirely defeated, the conqueror consuming many of 
them in the fires which they had kindled for burning the 
Roman prisoners they had expected to make a very just 
retaliation upon these sanguinary priests. In Gaul the 
Druids maintained themselves in their sacred woods near 
the island of Sena and on the promontory of Finisterre for 
perhaps two centuries longer. The progress of Christianity 
finally abolished them. But though their dominion was 
thus destroyed, many of their religious practices continued 
much longer ; and so late as the eleventh century, in the 
reign of Canute, it was necessary to forbid the people to 
worship the sun, moon, fires, &c. Certainly many of the 
practices of the Druids are still adhered to in Freemasonry, 
which is simply sun and star worship ; and some writers on 
this order endeavour to show that it was established soon 
after the edict of Canute, and that as thereby the Druidical 
worship was prohibited in toto, the strongest oaths were 
required to bind the initiated to secrecy. 


101. Drottes. The priests of Scandinavia were named 
Drottes, and instituted by Sigge, a Scythian prince, who is 
said afterwards to have assumed the name of Odin. Their 
number was twelve, who were alike priests and judges ; and 
from this order proceeded the establishment of British 
juries. Their power was extended to its utmost limits, by 
being allowed a discretionary privilege of determining on 
the choice of human victims for sacrifice, from which even 
the monarch was not exempt hence arose the necessity of 
cultivating the goodwill of these sovereign pontiffs ; and as 
this order, like the Israelitish priesthood, was restricted to 
one family, they became possessed of unbounded wealth, 
and at last became so tyrannical as to be objects of terror 
to the whole community. Christianity, promising to relieve 
it from this yoke, was hailed with enthusiasm ; and the 
inhabitants of Scandinavia, inspired with a thirst for ven- 
geance on account of accumulated and long-continued 
suffering, retaliated with dreadful severity on their perse- 
cutors, overthrowing the palaces and temples, the statues of 
their gods, and all the paraphernalia of Gothic superstition. 
Of this nothing remains but a few cromlechs; some 
stupendous monuments of rough stone, which human fury 
could not destroy ; certain ranges of caverns hewn out of 
the solid rock ; and some natural grottos used for the pur- 
pose of initiation. 

1 02. Ritual. The whole ritual had an astronomical bear- 
ing. The places of initiation, as in other mysteries, were 
in caverns, natural or artificial, and the candidate had to 
undergo trials as frightful as the priests cpuld render them. 
But instead of having to pass through seven caves or pas- 
sages, as in the Mithraic and other mysteries, he descended 
through nine the square of the mystic number three 
subterranean passages, and he was instructed to search for 

the body of Balder, the Scandinavian Osiris, slain by Loke, 

7 s 


the principle of darkness, and to use his utmost endeavours 
to raise him to life. To enter into particulars of the process 
of initiation would involve the repetition of what has been 
said before ; it may therefore suffice to observe that the 
candidate on arriving at the sacellum had a solemn oath 
administered to him on a naked sword, and ratified it by 
drinking mead out of a human skull. The sacred sign of 
the cross was impressed upon him, and a ring of magic 
virtues, the gift of Balder the Good, delivered to him. 

103. Astronomical Meaning Demonstrated. The first canto 
of the Edda, which apparently contains a description of the 
ceremonies performed on the initiation of an aspirant, says 
that he seeks to know the sciences possessed by the ^Esas 
or gods. He discovers a palace, whose roof of boundless 
dimensions is covered with golden shields. He encounters 
a man engaged in launching upwards seven flowers. Here 
we easily discover the astronomical meaning: the palace is 
the world, the roof the sky ; the golden shields are the stars, 
the seven flowers the seven planets. The candidate is asked 
what is his name, and replies Gangler, that is, the wanderer, 
he that performs a revolution, distributing necessaries to 
mankind ; for the candidate personates the sun. The palace 
is that of the king, the epithet the ancient Mystagogues 
gave to the head of the planetary system. Then he dis- 
covers three seats ; on the lowest is the king called Har, 
sublime ; on the central one, Jafuhar, the equal of the 
Sublime ; on the highest, Tredie, the number three. These 
personages are those the neophyte beheld in the Eleusinian 
initiation (72), the hierophant, the daduchus or torchbearer, 
and the epibomite or attendant on the altar ; those he sees 
in Freemasonry, the master, and the senior and junior 
wardens, symbolical personifications of the sun, moon, and 
Demiurgos, or grand architect of the universe. But the 
Scandinavian triad is usually represented by Odin, the chief 
deity; Thor, his first-born, the reputed mediator between 
god and man, possessing unlimited power over the universe, 
wherefore his head was surrounded by a circle of twelve 
stars ; and Freya, a hermaphrodite, adorned with a variety 
of symbols significant of dominion over love and marriage. 
In the instructions given to the neophyte, he is told that 
the greatest and most ancient of gods is called Alfader (the 
father of all), and has twelve epithets, which recall the twelve 
attributes of the sun, the twelve constellations, the twelve 
superior gods of Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Among the 
gods of the Scandinavian theogony there is Balder the 


Good, whose story, as already hinted above, formed the 
object of the initiatory ceremonies. Balder is Mithras, 
the sun's love. He foresees the danger that threatens him ; 
he dreams of it at night. The other gods of Valhalla, the 
Scandinavian Olympus, to whom he reveals his sad fore- 
bodings, reassure him, and to guard against any harm be- 
falling him, exact an oath from everything in Nature in his 
behalf, except from the mistletoe, which was omitted on 
account of its apparently inoffensive qualities. For an ex- 
periment, and in sport, the gods cast at Balder all kinds of 
missiles, without wounding him. Hoder the blind (that is, 
Fate), takes no part in the diversion ; but Loke (the prin- 
ciple of evil, darkness, the season of winter) places a sprig 
in the hands of Hoder, and persuades him to cast it at the 
devoted victim, who falls pierced with mortal wounds. For 
this reason it was that this plant was gathered at the winter 
solstice by the Druids of Scandinavia, Gaul, and Britain, 
with a curved knife, whose form symbolised the segment of 
the zodiacal circle during which the murder of Balder took 
place. In the Edda of Snorro we have another legend of 
Odin and Freya, the Scandinavian Isis or Venus, giving an 
account of the wanderings of the latter in search of the 
former, which, of course, have the same astronomical mean- 
ing as the search of Isis for Osiris, of Ceres for Proserpine, 
&c. One of the chief festivals in the year, as with the 
Druids, was the winter solstice ; and this being the longest 
night in the year, the Scandinavians assigned to it the 
formation of the world from primeval darkness, and called 
it " Mother Night." This festival was denominated " Yule," 
a corruption of the Greek word helios, the sun, and was a 
season of universal festivity. 



"A changeful strife, 
A glowing life, 

I weave on the whirring loom of Time, 
The living garments of the Deity." 

GOETHE, Faust. 

VOL. J. 


104. Its Origin. The Cabbala (from the Hindoo Kapila, 
the inventor of the philosophy of numbers) is the summary 
of the labours of the sects of Judaism, and is occupied in 
the mystical interpretation of the Scriptures, and in meta- 
physical speculations concerning the Deity and the worlds 
visible and invisible. The Jews say that it was communi- 
cated to Moses by God Himself. Now, although it is not at 
all improbable that the writer, to whom history has given 
the name of Moses, did leave to his successors some secret 
doctrines, yet the fantastic doctrines of the Cabbala concern- 
ing angels and demons are purely Chaldean ; at Babylon 
the Jews ingrafted on Monotheism the doctrine of the Two 
Principles. Daniel, the pontiff of the Magi and prophet of 
the Jews, may be considered as the chief founder of the 
Cabbala, which was conceived at Babylon, and received as 
the forbidden fruit of the strange woman. The ancient 
Jews had some idea of angels, but did not ascribe to them 
any particular functions, though to each patriarch they 
assigned a special familiar spirit. The Alexandrian School 
made many additions to that foreign importation ; Philo sup- 
plemented Daniel. The speculative portion of the Cabbala, 
whose foundation consists in the doctrine of Emanation, was 
developed in that School ; the philosophical systems of Pytha- 
goras and Plato were combined with Oriental philosophy, and 
from these proceeded Gnosticism and Neo-platonism. 

105. Date of Cabbala. The first documentary promulga- 
tion of the Cabbala may roughly be stated to have taken 
place within the century before and half a century after our 
era. The greater culture of the Jewish people, the supreme 
tyranny of the letter of the law and rabbinical minute- 
ness, furthered the spread of occult theology, whose chief 
text-books are the " Sepher-yetzirah," or Book of the Crea- 
tion, probably by Akiba, and the "Zohar," the Book of 
Light, attributed to Simon-ben-Joachai, the pupil of Akiba, 



consisting of fantastic commentaries on the books of Moses. 
What farrago the book contains may be inferred from the 
representation it gives of God. His head is that of a very 
old man, wearing one thousand millions and seven thousand 
curls of white wool ; his beard is as white as snow, reaching 
to his navel, and has thirteen divisions, each of which com- 
prises the greatest mysteries. The Jews did not become 
acquainted with it before the end of the thirteenth century. 
Akiba was a Jewish rabbi and teacher of the Mishna (107). 
He was executed for having taken part in the insurrection 
of Bar-Cochba (Son of the Star, Numb. xxiv. 17) in A.D. 135. 

1 06. The Book of the Creation. In this work Adam con- 
siders the mystery of the universe. In his monologue he 
declares the forces and powers of reason, which attempts to 
discover the bond which unites in a common principle all the 
elements of things ; and in this investigation he adopts a 
method different from the Mosaic. He does not descend 
from God to the creation, but studying the universe, seek- 
ing the unity in variety and multiplicity, the law in the 
phenomenon, he ascends from the creation to God a prolific 
method, but which leads the Cabbalists to seek fantastic 
analogies between superior and inferior powers, between 
heaven and earth, between the things and the signs of 
thought. Hence arose all the arts of divination and con- 
juration, and the most absurd superstitions. According to 
Cabbalistic conception, the universe, which to Pythagoras is 
a symbol of the mysterious virtues of numbers, is only a 
marvellous page on which all existing things were written 
by the supreme artificer with the first ten numbers and the 
twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The ten abstract 
numbers are the general forms of things, the " supreme cate- 
gories of ideas." Thus, number one represents the spirit of 
the living God, the universal generative power ; number two 
is the breath of the animating spirit ; three is the aqueous, 
and four the igneous principle. The imprint of the letters 
on the universe is indestructible, and is the only character 
that can enable us to discover the Supreme Cause, to recom- 
pose the name of God, the Logos, written on the face of the 
world. Nor are all the letters of equal virtue ; three, called 
the mothers, have the precedence, and refer to the triads found 
in various physical and mental orders ; seven others are called 
double, because from them arise the things constantly opposed 
to one another ; the remaining twelve are called simple, and 
refer to twelve attributes of man. 

107. Different Kinds of Cabbala. It is of two kinds, 


theoretical and practical. The latter is engaged in the 
construction of talismans and amulets, and is therefore 
totally unworthy of our notice. But it may be interest- 
ing to believers in modern charlatanism to know that 
this practical Cabbala was early employed in the produc- 
tion of spiritualistic phenomena ; divining tables, furnished 
with a writing apparatus, were common in the days of 
Tertullian, as we learn from his Apology. One Frederick 
Brentz, a Jew converted to Christianity in 1610, explained, 
or tried to explain, in a book against his former co-religionists, 
how the Jews raised tables, with stones of several hundred- 
weights on them, by means of Cabbalistic conjuration. 
The theoretical Cabbala is divided into the literal and dog- 
matic. The dogmatic is the summary of the metaphysical 
doctrines taught by the Cabbalistic doctors ; the literal is a 
mystical mode of explaining sacred things by a peculiar use 
of the letters of words. This literal Cabbala, called the 
Mishna, is again subdivided into three branches, the first 
considering words according to the numerical value of the 
letters composing them. This branch is called Gematria, 
and for an example of it the reader is referred to Mithras (30), 
the name of the sun, whose letters make up the number 
365, the number of days during which the sun performs 
his course. The second branch is called Notaricon, and is a 
mode of constructing one word out of the initials or finals of 
many. Thus of the sentence in Deut. xxx. 12, "Who shall 
go up for us to heaven ? " in Hebrew nO'Dttfn D 1 ? i"6jP ''ID, 
the initial letters of each word are taken to form the word 
n^'D, ''circumcision." The third mode is called Temura, 
or permutation of letters, such as is familiarly known as an 

1 08. Visions of Ezekiel. Cabbalistic terms and inventions, 
not destitute of poetic ideas, lent themselves to the require- 
ments of the mystics, sectaries, and alchymists. It suffices 
to consider that portion of the system whose object is the 
study of the visions of Ezekiel, to form an idea of the fan- 
tastic and mythological wealth of the Cabbala. This branch 
of the Cabbala is called the Marcava. 

In the visions of Ezekiel, God is seated on a throne, sur- 
rounded with strange winged figures the man, the bull, 
the lion, and the eagle, four zodiacal signs, like "the glory 
which he saw by the river of Chebar," that is, among the 
Chaldeans, famous for their astronomical knowledge. The 
rabbis call the visions the description of the celestial car, and 


discover therein profound mysteries. Maimonides reduced 
those visions to the astronomical ideas of his time ; the 
Cabbala surrounded them with its innumerable hosts of 
angels. Besides the angels that preside over the stars, 
elements, virtues, vices, passions, the lower world is peopled 
by genii of both sexes, holding a position between angels 
and men the elemental spirits of the Rosicrucians. The 
good angels are under the command of Metatron, also called 
Sar Happanim, the angel of the Divine countenance. The 
evil angels are subject to Samual, or Satan, the angel of 
death. Besides the Indian metempsychosis the Cabbalists 
admit another, which they call "impregnation," consisting 
in a union of several souls in one body, which takes place 
when any soul needs the assistance of others to attain to the 
beatific vision. 

109. The Creation out of Nothing. The primitive Being 
is called the Ancient of Days, the ancient Ring of Light, 
incomprehensible, infinite, eternal, a closed eye. Before he 
manifested himself all things were in him, and he was 
called The Nothing, the Zero-world. Before the creation of 
the world the primitive light of God, Nothing, filled all, so 
that there was no void ; but when the Supreme Being deter- 
mined to manifest His perfections, He withdrew into Him- 
self, and let go forth the first emanation, a ray of light, 
which is the cause and beginning of all that exists, and com- 
bines the generative and conceptive forces. He commenced 
by forming an imperceptible point, the point-world; then 
with that thought He constructed a holy and mysterious 
form, and finally covered it with a rich vestment the uni- 
verse. From the generative and conceptive forces issued 
forth the first-born of God, the universal form, the creator, 
preserver, and animating principle of the world, Adam 
Kadmon, called the macrocosm ; whilst man, born out of 
and living in it, and comprising, in fact, what the typical or 
celestial man comprises potentially, is called the microcosm. 
But before the Ensoph or Infinite revealed Himself in that 
form of the primitive man, other emanations, other worlds, 
had succeeded each other, which were called " sparks," which 
grew fainter the more distant they were from the centre of 
emanation. Around Adam Kadmon were formed the count- 
less circles of posterior emanations, which are not beings 
having a life of their own, but attributes of God, vessels of 
omnipotence, types of creation. The ten emanations from 
Adam Kadmon are called Sephiroth, the " powers " of Philo, 
and the " aeons " of the Gnostics. 


no. Revival of Cabbalistic Doctrines. As among Chris- 
tians the Apocalypse, so among Jews the Cabbala has always 
had its devoted students. Such a one was Lobele (d. 1609), 
who was chief rabbi at Prague, and considered such a saint, 
that no being born of woman was thought fit to wait on 
him ; he was attended by a servitor produced by magic, or a 
slave formed of clay. Being deeply versed in all the mys- 
teries of the Cabbala, he was endowed with supernatural 
powers, but he, wisely perhaps, kept his knowledge to him- 
self ; he did not even have pupils. But about the middle 
of the last century Jacob Franck, originally a distiller in 
Poland, collected around him a crowd of Jewish followers in 
Podolia, who, abjuring rabbinical dogmatism, adopted the mys- 
tical teaching of the Cabbala. The book Zohar (105) was the 
basis of their doctrines, whence they were called Zoharists, 
the Illuminated. The Eoman Catholic clergy, who in these 
doctrines saw an approach to Christianity, at first protected 
them ; but on the death of the Bishop of Podolia they were 
persecuted by the rabbis, so that they had to disperse, and 
Franck himself was imprisoned until 1773, when he was 
released by the Eussians. He then tried to establish himself 
at Vienna, but being driven thence found a refuge at Offen- 
bach, near Frankfort, where he gathered many followers, 
and lived in great style, as he received liberal subsidies from 
the Jews. He died in 1791, when the society was dissolved ; 
a few remnants may still be found in Poland, where they 
are known as Christian Jews. They form a kind of religious 
order, practising certain Jewish rites, and professing mystical 
doctrines, kept secret from outsiders. 

Another Cabbalistic sect was formed about the same time 
(1740) by Israel of Podolia, calling themselves the "New 
Saints " ; they professed to work miracles by using the Cab- 
balistic name of Jehovah. Israel had great success, and left 
forty thousand followers. 

Frederick Bahrdt and C. Frederick Mcolai, the former in 
his " Introduction " to Cornelius Agrippa's Cabbala, and the 
latter in his "Travels through Germany and Switzerland, 
1781," both mention the Cabbala of the Capucin Father 
Tertius of Eatisbon, written in Latin, which he utilised for 
fortune-telling. A somewhat similar Cabbala was published 
(circa 1790) in the "Delphic Oracle," edited by Professor K. 
[anne ?]. 

" For Humbug never waneth 
When Folly lends its help." 


The Cabbala was estimated at its true value by the Jesuit 
Pererius (1535-1610), who in his book " De Magia" calls it 
an " unscientific, silly, and ridiculous system." And yet in 
the last quarter of this century Alphonse Louis Constant, 
who wrote under the pseudonym of Eliphas Levi Zahed 
a number of books which are highly esteemed by modern 
students of " occult " matters, performed, by means of 
Cabbalistic power, the ceremonial evocation of Apollonius of 
Tyana, and was patronised, among other people of note, by 
Lord Lytton, who had him down to Knebworth ! Some 
forms of superstition do die hard. 



in. Origin of Religion of Love. A Persian slave, whose 
powerful imagination brought forth a doctrine desolating, 
but extraordinary by originality of invention and variety of 
episodes, three centuries after the appearance of Christ, and 
when Orientalism was on the point of disappearing from 
the West, founded a theogony and instituted a sect which 
revived Eastern influence in Europe, and by means of the 
Crusades spread schism and revolt throughout the Catholic 
world. The action of this rebellious disciple of Zoroaster, of 
this restorer of the ancient faith of the Magi, mixed with 
Christian forms and Gnostic symbols, had an extension and 
duration which, though called in doubt by the past, modern 
criticism discovers in the intrinsic philosophy of a great part 
of the sects formed in the bosom of Catholicism. At the 
head of this gigantic movement of intelligence and con- 
science, which devoted itself to the most singular supersti- 
tions in order to shake off the yoke of Rome, are Gnosticism 
and Manichasism, Oriental sects, the last and glorious 
advance of a theogony which, seeing the rule of so large a 
portion of the earth pass away from itself, undertook to 
recover it with mysteries and the evocation of poetic 

112. Manes. Manes, redeemed from slavery by a rich 
Persian widow, whence he was called the " son of the widow," 
and his disciples "sons of the widow," of prepossessing 
aspect, learned in the Alexandrian philosophy, initiated into 
the Mithraic mysteries, traversed the regions of India, 
touched on the confines of China, studied the evangelical 
doctrines, and so lived in the midst of many religious 
systems, deriving light from all, and satisfied by none. He 
was born at a propitious moment, and his temperament 
fitted him for arduous and fantastic undertakings and 
schemes. Possessing great penetration and an inflexible 
will, he comprehended the expansive force of Christianity, 


and resolved to profit thereby, masking Gnostic and Cabba- 
listic ideas under Christian names and rites. In order to 
establish this Christian revelation, he called himself the 
Paraclete announced by Christ to His disciples, attributing 
to himself, in the Gnostic manner, a great superiority over 
the Apostles, rejecting the Old Testament, and allowing to 
the sages of the pagans a philosophy superior to Judaism. 
A.D. 270. 

113. Manwhceism. The dismal conceptions of a dualism, 
pure and simple, the eternity and absolute evil of matter, 
the non-resurrection of the body, the perpetuity of the prin- 
ciple of evil these preside over the compound that took 
its name from him, and confound Mithras with Christ, the 
Gospel with the Zend-Avesta, Magism with Judaism. The 
Unknown Father, the Infinite Being, of Zoroaster, is entirely 
rejected by Manes, who divides the universe into two 
dominions, that of light and that of darkness, irreconcilable, 
whereof one is superior to the other; but, great difference 
the first, instead of conquering the latter into goodness, 
reduces it to impotence, conquers, but does not suppress or 
convince it. The God of light has innumerable legions of 
combatants (aeons), at whose head are twelve superior angels, 
corresponding with the twelve signs of the zodiac. Satanic 
matter is surrounded by a similar host, which, having been 
captivated by the charms of the light, endeavours to conquer 
it ; wherefore the head of the celestial kingdom, in order to 
obviate this danger, infuses life into a new power, and 
appoints it to watch the frontiers of heaven. That power is 
called the " Mother of Life," and is the soul of the world, 
the " Divine," the primitive thought of the Supreme Ens, 
the heavenly " Sophia " of the Gnostics. As a direct emana- 
tion of the Eternal it is too pure to unite with matter, but a 
son is born unto it, the first man, who initiates the great 
struggle with the demons. When the strength of the man 
fails him, the " Living Spirit" comes to his assistance, and 
having led him back to the kingdom of light, raises above 
the world that part of the celestial soul not contaminated 
by contact with the demons a perfectly pure soul, the Ke- 
deemer, the Christ, who attracts to Himself and frees from 
matter the light and soul of the first man. In these abstruse 
doctrines lies concealed the Mithraic worship of the sun. 
The followers of Manes were divided into " Elect " and 
" Listeners " ; the former had to renounce every corporeal 
enjoyment, everything that can darken the celestial light in 
us; the second were less rigorously treated. Both might 


attain immortality by means of purification in an ample lake 
placed in the moon (the baptism of celestial water), and 
sanctification in the solar fire (the baptism of celestial fire), 
where reside the Redeemer and the blessed spirits. 

114. Life of Manes. The career of Manes was chequered 
and stormy, a foreshadowing of the tempests that were to 
arise against his sect. After having enjoyed the unstable 
favour of the court, and acquired the fame of a great physi- 
cian, he found himself unable to save the life of one of the 
sons of the prince. He was consequently exiled, and roved 
through Turkistan, Hindostan, and the Chinese Empire. He 
dwelt for one year in a cave, living on herbs, during which 
time his followers, having received no news from him, said 
that he had ascended to heaven, and were believed, not only 
by the "Listeners," but by the people. The new prince 
recalled him to court, showered honours on him, erected a 
sumptuous palace for him, and consulted him on all state 
affairs. But Barahm, the successor of this prince, at the 
instigation of the Magi, made him pay dearly for his short 
happiness, for he put him to a cruel death : he had him 
flayed alive. 

115. Progress of Manichceism. The government of the 
sect, already existing with degrees, initiatory rites, signs, and 
passwords, was continued by astute chiefs, who more and 
more attracted to themselves the Christians by the use of 
orthodox language, making them believe that their object 
was to recall Christianity to its first purity. But the sect 
was odious to the Church of Rome, because it had issued 
from rival Persia ; and so for two hundred years it was 
banished from the empire, and the Theodosiau Codex is full 
of laws against it. Towards the end of the fourth century 
it spread in Africa and Spain. It had peace, and flourished 
under the mother of the Emperor Anastasius (491-518) ; but 
Justin renewed the persecution. In the ninth century that 
female fiend, Theodora, the wife of the Emperor Theophilus, 
caused more than one hundred thousand Manichseans to be 
slain. But changing its name, seat, and figurative language, 
Manichaeism spread in Bulgaria, Lornbardy (Patarini), France 
(Cathari, Albigenses), &c., united with the Saracens, and 
openly made war upon tbe Emperor, and its followers 
perished by thousands in battle and at the stake ; and from 
its secular trunk sprang the so-called heresies of the Hus- 
sites and Wyckliffites, which opened the way for Protestantism. 
In those gloomy Middle Ages, in fact, arose those countless 
legions of sectaries, bound by a common pact, whose exist- 


ence only then becomes manifest when the sinister light of 
the burning pile flashes through the darkness in which they 
conceal themselves. The Freemasons undoubtedly, through 
the Templars, inherited no small portion of their ritual from 
them ; they were very numerous in all the courts, and even 
in the dome of St. Peter, and baptized in blood with new 
denominations and ordinances. 

1 1 6. Doctrines. The sacred language of Manichseism was 
most glowing, and founded on that concert of voices and 
ideas, called in Pythagorean phraseology the "harmony of 
the spheres," which established a connection between the 
mystic degrees and the figured spheres by means of conven- 
tional terms and images ; and it is known that the Albi- 
genses and Patarini recognised each other by signs. A 
Provencal Patarino, who had fled to Italy in 1240, every- 
where met with a friendly reception, revealing himself to 
the brethren by means of conventional phrases. He every- 
where found the sect admirably organised, with churches, 
bishops, and apostles of the most active propaganda, who 
overran France, Germany, and England. The Manichsean 
language, moreover, was ascetic, and loving, and Christian ; 
but the neophyte, after having once entered the sect, was 
carried beyond, and gradually alienated from the Papal 
Church. The mysteries had two chief objects in view that 
of leading the neophyte, by first insensibly changing his 
former opinions and dispositions, and then of gradually 
instructing him in the conventional language, which, being 
complicated and varied, required much study and much time. 
But not all were admitted to the highest degrees. Those 
that turned back, or could not renounce former ideas, re- 
mained always in the Church, and were not introduced into 
the sanctuary. These were simple Christians and sincere 
listeners, who, out of zeal for reform, often encountered 
death, as, for instance, the canons of Orleans, who were 
condemned to the stake by King Robert in 1022. But 
those who did not turn back were initiated into all those 
things which it was important should be known to the most 
faithful members of the sect. The destruction of Rome, and 
the establishment of the heavenly Jerusalem spoken of in the 
Apocalypse, were the chief objects aimed at. 

117. Spread of Religion of Love. The religion of love did 
not end with the massacre of the Albigenses, nor were its 
last echoes the songs of the troubadours ; for we meet with 
it in a German sect which in 1550 pretended to receive a 
supernatural light from the Holy Spirit. In Holland, also, 


a sect of Christians arose in 1555, called the "Family of 
Love," and deriving its origin from one Henry Nicholas, of 
Westphalia. He taught that the essence of religion con- 
sisted in the feelings of Divine love ; that the union of the 
soul with Christ transforms it into the essence of the Deity; 
that the Scriptures ought to be interpreted in an allegorical 
manner. No very damnable heresies, one would think ; but 
when the sect made its appearance in England, about the 
year 1580, their books were publicly burnt, and the sect 



1 1 8. Character of Gnosticism. The leading ideas of Pla- 
tonism are also found in the tenets of the Gnostics (i.e., 
"Those who know," coloro che sanno. Inf. iv. 131), and 
they continued, during the second and third centuries, the 
schools that raised a barrier between recondite philosophy 
and vulgar superstition. Under this aspect Gnosticism is 
the most universal heresy, the mother of many posterior 
heresies, even of Arianism, and reappears among the alchy- 
mists, mystics, and modern transcendentalists. 

119. Doctrines. The Gnostics assumed an infinite, in- 
visible Being, an abyss of darkness, who, unable to remain 
inactive, diffused himself in emanations, decreasing in per- 
fection the further they were removed from the centre that 
produced them. They had their grand triad, whose per- 
sonifications Matter, the Demiurgus, and the Saviour 
comprised and represented the history of mankind and of 
the world. The superior emanations, partakers of the 
attributes of the Divine essence, are the "asons," distri- 
buted in classes according to symbolical numbers. Their 
union forms the " pleroma," or the fulness of intelligence. 
The last and most imperfect emanation of the pleroma, 
according to one of the two grand divisions of Gnosticism, is 
the Demiurgus, a balance of light and darkness, of strength 
and weakness, who, without the concurrence of the unknown 
Father, produces this world, there imprisoning the souls, for 
he is the primary evil, opposed to the primary good. He 
encumbers the souls with matter, from which they are re- 
deemed by Christ, one of the sublime powers of the pleroma, 
the Divine thought, intelligence, the spirit. For humanity 
is destined to raise itself again from the material to the spiri- 
tual life ; to free itself from Nature, and to govern it, and to 
live again in immortal beauty. 

According to the other party of the Gnostics, the Demi- 
urgus was the representative and organ of the highest God, 



who was placed by the Divine will especially over the Jewish 
people as their Jehovah. Men are divided into three classes : 
the terrestrial men, of the earth earthy, tied and bound by 
matter ; the spiritual men, the Pneumatikoi, who attain to 
the Divine light; the Psychikoi, who only rise up to the 
Demiurgus. The Jews, subject to Jehovah, were Psychikoi ; 
the Pagans were terrestrial men ; the true Christians or 
Gnostics, Pneumatikoi. 

1 20. Development of Gnosticism. Simon Magus; Menan- 
der, his successor ; Cerinthus, the apostle of the Millennium, 
and some others who lived in the first century, are looked 
upon as the founders of Gnosticism, which soon divided into 
as many sects as there arose apostles. This may be called 
the obscure period of Gnosticism. But at the beginning of 
the second century the sect of Basilides of Alexandria arose, 
and with it various centres of Gnosticism in Egypt, Syria, 
Kome, Spain, &c. Basilides, who corrupted Gnosticism with 
Indian and Egyptian fancies, assumed 365 asons or cycles of 
creation, which were expressed by the word abraxas, whose 
letters, according to their numerical value in Greek, produce 
the number 365. By "abraxas" was meant, in its deeper 
sense, the Supreme God ; but the reader will at once detect 
the astronomical bearing, and remember the words Mithras 
and Belenus, which also severally represent that number, 
and the Supreme God, viz., the sun. Valentinus also is a 
famous Gnostic, whose fundamental doctrine is that all men 
shall be restored to their primeval state of perfection ; that 
matter, the refuge of evil, shall be consumed by fire which 
is also the doctrine of Zoroaster; and that the spirits in 
perfect maturity shall ascend into the pleroma, there to 
enjoy all the delights of a perfect union with their com- 
panions. From the Valentinians sprang the Ophites, calling 
themselves so after the serpent that by tempting Eve brought 
into the world the blessings of knowledge ; and the Cainites, 
who maintained that Cain had been the first Gnostic, in 
opposition to the blind, unreasoning faith of Abel, and 
therefore persecuted by the Demiurgus, Jehovah. On this 
idea is founded the Masonic Legend of the Temple. The 
Antitacts (opponents to the law), like the Ishmaelites at a 
later period, taught their adepts hatred against all positive 
religions and laws. The Adamites looked upon marriage 
as the fruit of sin; they called their lascivious initiation 
"paradise," held all indulgence in carnal delights lawful, 
and advocated the abolition of dress. The Pepuzians varied 
their initiations with the apparition of phantasms, among 


whom was a woman crowned with the sun and twelve stars, 
and having the moon under her feet the Isis of Egypt and 
the Ceres of Greece. They found in the Apocalypse all 
their initiatory terminology. A gnostic stone, represented 
in the work of Chifflet, shows seven stars of equal size, with 
a larger one above ; these probably mean the seven planets 
and the sun. There are, moreover, figured on it a pair of 
compasses, a square, and other geometrical emblems. Thus 
all religious initiations are ever reducible to astronomy and 
natural phenomena. 

121. Spirit of Gnosticism. The widely opposite ideas 
of polytheism, pantheism, monotheism, the philosophical 
systems of Plato, Pythagoras, Heraclitus, together with the 
mysticism and demon ology that after the Jewish captivity 
created the Cabbala all these went towards forming Gnos- 
ticism. And the aristocracy of mind, powerful and numerous 
as none had ever been before, that arose in the first centuries 
of our era, even when adopting the new faith, could not but 
loathe the thought of sharing it completely with the crowd 
of freed and unfreed slaves around them with the low and 
poor in spirit. The exclusiveness of Gnosticism, which was 
one of the causes why it was violently persecuted by the 
Fathers of the Church as damnable heresy, was undoubtedly, 
next to the attractiveness of its dogmas, one of the chief 
reasons of its rapid propagation and its lasting influence on 
modern religious systems. 

It is said that the Gnostics recognised one another by 
slightly tickling the palm of the person with whom they 
shook hands. 



122. Connection of Judaism and Gnosticism. At the dis- 
persion of the Jews in the heart of Asia, attempts were 
made to discover analogies between the Chinese doctrines of 
Lau-Tze (80) and those of the Hebrews, extending even to the 
name Jehovah ; and it is undeniable that whilst the Jews 
on the one hand assimilated their dogmas with those of 
Zoroaster, on the other they diffused Gnostic and Cabbalistic 
ideas throughout the world. And Lau-Tze has by some 
been considered as a forerunner of Gnosticism. A fragment 
of this religious teacher runs thus : " Before the chaos that 
preceded the birth of the universe, there existed one sole 
being, boundless and silent, immutable and yet ever active, 
that may be called the Mother of the universe. I know not 
its name, but may call it Intelligence. Man has his model on 
the earth, the earth in heaven, the heaven in Intelligence, 
and Intelligence in itself." 

123. Essenes and Therapeutce. On their return to Judgea 
the Jews were split into various sects, such as the Pharisees, 
whose name is supposed to be derived from Parsees, and 
Sadducees, Chasidim, and Zadikim. With regard to the 
Mosaic law the Pharisees were Chasidim (Pietists), whilst 
the Samaritans, Essenes, and Sadducees were Zadikim. The 
former afterwards split into Talmudists, Eabbinists, and 
Cabbalists (no, Sect of the "New Saints"). But those 
in which the Eastern element predominated most were the 
Essenes and the Therapeutge. These two sects have often 
been confounded, it being assumed that the latter formed the 
highest degree of the order. But they were quite distinct, 
having nothing in common except their moral precepts. 
Their practices were not exclusively Oriental, but by means of 
the Alexandrian school were connected with Western tradi- 
tions, and especially with the teachings of Pythagoras. The 
Essenes, approaching more to the principles of Zoroaster, 
who held that the soul was to be freed as much as possible 



from corporeal influences, submitted to fastings and mace- 
ration ; the Therapeutae, living in Egypt, endeavoured to 
reconcile the doctrines of the East with the ancient tradi- 
tions of Greece, wherefore the picture Philo, who strongly 
sympathised with them, has left us of their society, abounds 
with Eastern and Pythagorean ideas. It is, however, doubt- 
ful whether the work was really written by Philo ; by many 
it is supposed to be the work of a Christian monk, as a pane- 
gyric on ascetic monachism. Some writers have attempted 
to derive the Essenians from the Ephesian priesthood, and 
tracing some resemblance between the Orphics of Thrace, 
the Curete of Crete, and the Ephesian priests, the existence 
of an ancient common doctrine, submerged like a philoso- 
phical Atlantis, was suspected, the Grecians being looked 
upon as a powerful offshoot ; but it seems certain that the 
Essenes had very little of Greece in their rituals, whilst the 
Therapeutas had a great deal. The Essenes may, with great 
probability, be derived from the Assideans (i Mac. ii. 42), 
who, in consequence of the perfidy of Alcimus (i Mac. vii. 
13-16), severed their connection with the Temple. In our 
English Apocrypha, the Assideans are called (i Mac. ii. 42) 
"mighty men of Israel," but the meaning of the original is, 
" adherents of the old faith." They were not warriors, as 
has been supposed ; they were the first to seek peace (i Mac. 
vii. 1 3), for they formed a religious and not a military com- 

124. Their Tenets and Customs. The Essenes were re- 
nowned for their moral and virtuous lives. They dwelt in 
villages, far from towns, tilling the land, owning no slaves, 
and having all their goods in common. They made no vows 
of celibacy, but most abstained from marriage, dreading the 
infidelity and fickleness of woman. They cultivated the phy- 
sical sciences, and especially medicine. No one was admitted 
into their community, except after having passed through 
graduated probations lasting several years. And why they 
are reckoned among secret societies is, because they may be 
considered as the opponents of the Jewish priesthood at a 
time when that priesthood was all-powerful, and any opposi- 
tion to it was attended with the utmost danger. Now the 
doctrines of the Essenes were necessarily opposed to the 
Hebrew faith, and to escape the persecution which they 
otherwise might have incurred, they in the first instance 
adopted a name calculated to disarm suspicion, viz., that of 
Essenes, from the Essen or breastplate worn by the Jewish 
high-priest, and further took every possible precaution in 


the admission of members into their secret order, which was 
divided into four degrees, and the process of initiation was 
so arranged that a candidate, even after having entered the 
third, did not know the grand secret, and if not found trust- 
worthy to be admitted into the innermost sanctuary, re- 
mained totally unconscious of its real nature, and only saw 
in it the governing ranks, highest in rank, but not otherwise 
distinguished in point of doctrine. A perfect parallel of this 
system is found in Freemasonry ; the members of the first 
three degrees are not initiated into the grand so-called 
secret of Masonry ; only in the Koyal Arch they are informed 
of it). The four degrees above referred to were respec- 
tively called the "Faithful," the "Illuminate/' the "Ini- 
tiated," and the " Perfect." The Faithful received at their 
initiation a new or baptismal name, and this was engraved 
with a secret mark upon a white stone (probably alluded to 
in Rev. ii. 17, which, as we shall hereafter see, was not 
Christian in its origin), which he retained as a voucher of his 
membership. The usual sign was the cross, though other 
signs also were employed. 

125. Distinction between the two Sects. The Therapeutae 
were more addicted to contemplation and less to labour ; 
they might be called speculative Essenes. They were less 
opposed to the admission of women, and at some of their 
festivals they performed dances, in which the fair sex were 
allowed to join. But whilst not denying themselves the 
society of women, they banished wine from all their meals ; 
they were afraid, it seems, of the conjunction of Bacchus 
and Venus. They alone had, or professed to have, the key 
to the right interpretation of the writings of Moses, a true 
knowledge of the Cabbala, and according to tradition, Christ 
was born of parents belonging to the society, who brought 
up and trained the child in the part he was to play. 

The Essenes and Therapeutas resided chiefly in the neigh- 
bourhood of the Dead Sea and in Egypt, and their existence 
was prolonged into the fourth century of our era. 




126. Myth of Horus Christianised. When the story of 
the Egyptian Horus had, by a concatenation of circum- 
stances too long to be described here, in Alexandria, been 
elaborated into the myth of Christ, the latter was at once 
fitted out with mysteries and initiations thereinto. Traces 
of them may be found in all the evangelists, but most in St. 
Paul ; and the trials of Christian initiation, as some suppose, 
are described in Luke xiv., and according to others, Matthew 
xvii. contains a full declaration of the mysteries made to the 
elect or initiated. If so, they are conveyed in language as 
enigmatical as that of the Alchymists. But the story of the 
Transfiguration on the Mount is an imperfect description of 
the holding of a quasi-masonic lodge of association in the 
highest degree. The more the society extended, chiefly by 
the ambitious schemes of Cerinthus, the more such initia- 
tions increased, and thus there gradually arose in the Church 
the secret discipline. The Cerinthus just mentioned, and who 
was also ironically called Merinthus i.e., the "rope" was 
really a Gnostic. St. John held him in such abhorrence, that 
on one occasion he would not bathe with him in the Baths 
of Ephesus for fear the vault would crumble over the heretic. 
The primitive Church believed that the Gospel of St. John 
had been written against Cerinthus, who, to revenge himself, 
attributed the Apocalypse to St. John. 

127. Christian Mysteries. In the writings of the Fathers 
the mention of mysterious designations and distinctions 
becomes more frequent. St. Augustin gives the reason 
why the secret discipline was adopted by the new believers : 
Firstly, because the mysteries, so incomprehensible to human 
intellect, and their simple rites, should not be derided by the 
Gentiles and those not fully initiated; secondly, to secure 
greater veneration for those rites ; and thirdly, that the holy 
curiosity of the catechumens should be excited to obtain a 

perfect knowledge of them. 



128. Similarity of Christian with Pagan Rites. At least 
twenty different incarnate gods were celebrated in the East 
and West, to each of whom was attributed a history, similar 
in general details to that of the Christian Messiah, and these 
various incarnations were all supposed to have preceded 
Christ in point of chronology; the miracles attributed to 
Him had been sculptured in temples hoary with age before 
the date assigned to His birth. In all the ancient mysteries 
we have seen a representation of the death of the sun; 
according to some writers, this ceremony was imitated in the 
Christian mysteries by the symbolical slaying of a child, 
which, in the lower degrees, of course meant the death of 
Christ. We may here mention, just to show how old is the 
custom of the followers of an ancient religion to attribute 
horrible practices to the professors of a new creed, that the 
Komans asserted that, on being initiated into the Christian 
faith, the aspirant had placed before him a male child, covered 
with flour, whom he had to stab till he was dead, whereupon 
all present greedily licked up the blood, tore the body to 
pieces, and ate them, by which ceremony they were bound to 
one common silence. The initiated were divided into three 
classes : hearers, catechumens, and faithful. The hearers 
formed a noviciate, and were prepared to be instructed in 
the Christian dogmas. One portion of these dogmas was 
hidden from the catechumens, who after the prescribed 
purifications, received baptism or initiation into the theo- 
genesis (divine generation) ; they then became servants of 
the faith, and were admitted into the temples, and recognised 
each other by the sign of the cross. Solemn dances were 
performed in all the initiations, and the expression, "to 
come from the ball," which, for instance, we meet with in 
.ZElius Aristides, the rhetorician (circa 150 A.D.), meant "to 
betray the mysteries." 

1 29. Christian Symbols taken from Pagan Symbols. Most 
of the hieroglyphics and symbols of Paganism passed into 
Christianity. The vine, and the processes of converting its 
fruit into the most universal of beverages, all belonging 
among the heathens to the rites of Bacchus, were by the first 
Christians rendered symbolical of the labours in the vine- 
yard of faith. The ear of corn of Ceres furnished the 
emblem for the bread which Christ divided among His 
disciples. The palm and crown, which denoted worldly 
victories, among the Christians signified spiritual triumphs. 
The wings of the doves were given to the angels and 
cherubim ; the dove of Venus became the Holy Ghost ; 


Diana's stag, the Christian soul panting for the living water ; 
Juno's peacock, that soul after resurrection. The sphinx, 
the griffin, and the chimera of mythology were by the 
Christians adopted as having the same power of warding off 
evil spirits and fornication, which was supposed to belong 
to the Gorgon's head. The keys of Janus, with St. Peter, 
expressed the highest power to set free and bind. In the 
primitive ages the pontiff wore a girdle whence depended 
seven keys and seven seals, symbols of the mysteries he was 
to preside over and keep secret. The cross (53) at first was 
a symbol not openly displayed, and it was not till the sixth 
century that the body of Christ was exhibited on it. The 
fish was not a Christian symbol of the Saviour merely be- 
cause the Greek word for fish, Z%0v?, contained the initials 
of Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour, as is generally alleged, 
but because throughout the ancient world water was con- 
nected with the idea of salvation : Isis was associated with 
the fish, Moses means "drawn from the water," Joshua 
was the sun of Nun, "the fish." Vishnu's first incarnation 
in the form of a fish and the Cannes of the Chaldeans all 
have the same meaning. 

130. Celebration of the Mysteries. They were divided into 
two parts. The first was called the "mass of the catechu- 
mens," because the members of that degree were allowed to 
be present at it, and it embraced what was said from the 
beginning of the service to the Apostles' Creed. The second 
was called the "mass of the faithful," and comprised the 
preparation for the sacrifice, the sacrifice itself, and thanks- 
giving. When this latter commenced, a deacon intimated 
to the catechumens to go out, and the phrase used by 
him on that occasion savours but little of the pretended 
meekness and toleration of the youthful Church: Sancta 
sanctis foris canes. The faithful being left alone recited the 
Apostles' Creed, whereby it was seen that all present had 
been fully initiated, and that all metaphorical or enigmatical 
language might be dispensed with. 

131. Astronomical Meaning of Christianity. Then the 
real mystery was unveiled, and the astronomical meaning of 
Christianity, similar to that of the ancient mysteries, was 
laid bare. The limits of this work will not allow me to 
enter into full details, but what follows will sufficiently 
explain the nature of the secret doctrines of the early Chris- 
tians. Thus to them the Seven Churches of Asia were the 
seven months from March to September, both inclusive, as 
is proved by their names. Christ represented the sun, and 


His first miracle is turning water into wine, which the sun 
does every year ; His agony in Gethsemane was the juice of 
the grape put in the wine-press ; His descent into hell was 
the sun in the winter season; His crucifixion on Calvary 
(calvus = bald = shorn of His rays) His crossing the equator 
in the autumn; and His crucifixion in Egypt (Eev. xi. 8) 
His crossing it in the spring. The beheading of John the 
Baptist was shown to them to be John, Janus, or Aquarius, 
having his head cut off by the line of the horizon on the 
2Qth August, wherefore his festival occurs on that day. 
They knew the Virgin Mary to be the Virgo of the zodiac, 
the goddess Ceres, who holds out to Adam, or man, the 
produce of the harvest; the Virgin, wedded to Joseph, 
astronomically Bootes, which constellation always rises and 
sets with her. These analogies might be pursued still fur- 
ther, but enough has been said for our present purpose. 

132. Prometheus Bound. The myth of Christ had been 
foreshadowed 500 years before our era in the tragedy of 
^Eschylus ' " Prometheus Bound." Hence the disinclination 
of the Athenians, to whom this tragedy was familiar, to 
believe in a Jesus, crucified amidst the most astounding 
terrestrial and astronomical phenomena, of which, however, 
no one except the propounders of the new doctrine had ever 

The name Prometheus deserves attention ; it is a com- 
pound word : Proma-theos, i.e., Brahma-theos. In the Tamul, 
a language derived from the Sanscrit, Brahma is pronounced 
Prahma. The Indian a has also been turned into o, for 
navam, nine, is undoubtedly the etymon of novem ; pada, 
poda, &c. The converse of the change of B into P is found 
in Baphomet, from Papa and Maliomet. To return to Pro- 
metheus : he and Christ perish on a hill ; both submit to 
the law of another god to save mankind ; both have their 
right sides pierced, Prometheus by a vulture, Jesus by a 
lance, the former on a rock, the latter on a cross ; and in 
the moment of death both expiatory victims utter the same 
sentiments, that is to say, the Gospels repeat the words 
put into the mouth of Prometheus 500 years before Christ. 
What strengthens the identity is the fact that Prometheus 
has a friend called Oceanus, who in the ancient mythologies 
is also called Piereus (Pierre), Peter. Now in the tragedy 
of ^Eschylus we read that Oceanus denied his friend at the 
moment when the anger of God made him a victim for the 
sins of the human race. St. Peter, who lived by the ocean 
or sea, did the same under similar circumstances. 


133. Abolition of Mysteries. The number of the faithful 
having greatly increased the Christians from being per- 
secuted having become persecutors, and that of the most 
grasping and barbarous kind the Church in the seventh 
century instituted the minor orders, among whom were the 
doorkeepers, who took the place of the deacons. In 692 
every one was ordered thenceforth to be admitted to the 
public worship of the Christians, their esoteric teaching of 
the first ages was entirely suppressed, and what had been 
pure cosmology and astronomy was turned into a pantheon 
of gods and saints. Nothing remained of the mysteries 
but the custom of secretly reciting the canon of the Mass. 
Nevertheless in the Greek Church the priest celebrates 
divine worship behind a curtain, which is only removed 
during the elevation of the host, but since at that moment 
the worshippers prostrate themselves, they are supposed not 
to see the holy sacrament. 



134. The Apocalypse. This book, hitherto accepted as one 
of genuinely Christian authorship, is now by competent 
critics received in its main substance, and throughout by far 
the greater part of it, as a purely Jewish composition ; in 
fact, as a Jewish Apocalypse put into a Christian dress after 
the fall of Jerusalem, A.D. 70. The first three chapters are 
Christian, of course, but in the fourth chapter the book 
begins again, and from that to the end, with the exception 
of a few short passages, which are interpolations, all is purely 
Jewish, or rather a medley of occidental, Judaic, and secta- 
rian doctrines. The bulk of the work is a description of 
the Pagan mysteries, which the Christianising adapter trans- 
forms into those of the Christian myth ; to the latter it is 
what the " Golden Ass " of Apuleius and the " Sixth Book " 
of Virgil is to the Pagan mysteries, from which its whole 
machinery is borrowed. The woman clothed with the sun, 
standing upon the moon, and symbolising the true Church, 
is the Egyptian Isis ; the attack upon the woman and her 
offspring by the deluging serpent, which is frustrated by the 
earth's absorption of the water, is perfectly analogous to 
the attack of the diluvian serpent Python upon Osiris, or 
Latona, or Horus, which is similarly frustrated by the 
destruction of that monster ; the false Church, bearing the 
name of Mystery of course, referring to the Pagan Mystery 
floating on the waters, or riding on a terrific beast, and 
ultimately plunged into the infernal lake, exhibits the very 
same aspect as the Great Mother of Paganism sailing over 
the ocean, riding on the lion, venerated with certain mys- 
teries, and during their celebration plunged into the waters 
of a sacred lake, denominated the lake of Hades. St. Paul 
himself personates an aspirant about to be initiated, and 
accordingly the images presented to his mind's eye closely 
resemble the pageants of the mysteries. The prophet first 

beholds a door opened in the magnificent temple of heaven, 

1 08 


and into this he is invited to enter by one who plays the 
hierophant. Here he witnesses the unsealing of the sacred 
book, and immediately he is assailed by a troop of ghastly 
apparitions. Among these are pre-eminently conspicuous a 
vast serpent, the well-known symbol of the Great Father ; 
and two wild beasts, severally coming up out of the sea and 
out of the earth. Such hideous figures correspond with the 
canine phantoms in the Orgies, and with the polymorphic 
images of the principal hero-god, who was universally 
deemed the offspring of the sea. Passing these terrific 
monsters in safety, the prophet, constantly attended by his 
angel-hierophant, is conducted into the presence of a female, 
and, like Isis emerging from the sea, and exhibiting herself 
to the eyes of the aspirant Apuleius, this female divinity, 
upborne upon the marine wild beast, appears to float upon 
the surface of many waters. She is said to be an open and 
systematic harlot, just as the Great Mother was the declared 
female principle of fecundity, and as she was often pro- 
pitiated by literal fornication reduced to a religious system ; 
and as the initiated were made to drink a prepared liquor 
out of a sacred goblet, so this harlot is represented as 
intoxicating the kings of the earth with the golden cup of 
her prostitution. On her forehead the very name Mystery 
is inscribed ; its nature the officiating hierophant undertakes 
to explain. To the sea-born Great Father was ascribed a 
threefold state ; he lived, he died, and he revived, and these 
changes of condition were duly exhibited in the mysteries. 
To the sea-born wild beast is similarly ascribed a threefold 
state ; he lives, he dies, and he revives. While dead he lies 
floating on the mighty ocean, just like Horus, or Osiris, or 
Siva, or Vishnu ; when he revives he emerges from the 
waters, and whether alive or dead, he bears seven heads 
and ten horns, numbers that have their prototypes in the 
mysteries (18, &c.). And as the worshippers of the Great 
Father bore his special mark, and were distinguished by his 
name, so the worshippers of the maritime beast equally bear 
his mark, and are equally designated by his appellation. At 
length the first or doleful part of these sacred mysteries 
draws to a close, and the last or joyful part is rapidly 
approaching. After the prophet has beheld the enemies of 
God plunged into a dreadful lake or inundation of liquid 
fire (64), which corresponds with the infernal lake or deluge 
of the Egyptian mysteries, he is introduced into a splendidly 
illuminated region expressly adorned with the character- 
istics of that paradise which was the ultimate scope of the 


ancient aspirants, while without the holy gate of admission 
are the whole multitude of the profane, sorcerers, and whore- 
mongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth 
or maketh a lie ; but first of all dogs, i.e., the uninitiated, 
the cowans (tcvcov) of Freemasonry. For some modern 
thinkers the Apocalypse has neither meaning nor value. 

135. Pagan Impostors. The spread of Christianity pro- 
duced also many opponents to it, either avowed or secret ; 
the latter, however, in most cases desired to see Paganism 
reformed, not abolished; though rejecting Christianity, they 
attempted to form a sort of Christianised Paganism. Clever 
impostors in those days reaped a rich harvest from the credu- 
lity of mankind, and sects without end sprang up. Two of 
the most successful leaders of such were Apollonius of Tyana 
and Alexander of Abonoteichos. Their doctrines, cere- 
monies, and tricks in mystery - mongering were largely 
founded on the religious and philosophical charlatanism of 
Pythagoras ; they had their day, and passed away, to be 
constantly resuscitated. 



" And he will be a wild man ; his hand will be against every man, and 
every man's hand against him." GEN. xvi. 12. 


136. Legend of the Mahdi. The Arabs had rendered 
themselves masters of Persia, but that country did not 
willingly bear the foreign yoke. In the schism which, after 
the death of Mahomet, divided his followers, the Persians 
took the side of Ali, the husband of Mahomet's daughter, 
Fatima, and the successor of the Prophet. At the end of the 
eighth century the two great divisions of Mahometans were 
already split up into numerous sects ; but all of them had 
one belief in common, namely, in the coming of a Messiah, or, 
in their language, a Mahdi or guide. The Ghoolat, an ex- 
travagant sect, had started the doctrine, adopted by other 
sects, that the last visible imam, or supreme ecclesiastical 
ruler, had been Ismael, reckoning Ali as the first, and those 
who thought so were called Ismaelites; whilst others said 
Askeree, the twelfth imam, to have been the last visible one, 
and that he had vanished in a cavern at Hilla, on the banks 
of the Euphrates, where he would remain invisible till the 
end of the world, when he would reappear as the Mahdi. 
On this belief a bold adventurer founded the plan of free- 
ing Persia and raising himself to power. On this belief the 
power of the Mahdi of the present day is founded. 

137. Abdallah, the first Pontiff. The just-mentioned ad- 
venturer's name was Abdallah, the son of Mamoon, and 
grandson of the famous Haroon Er-Easheed. The Ish- 
maelites were numerous in Persia ; he addressed himself to 
them, telling them that Ismael had indeed been the last 
imam, but that Mohammed, his sou, was a prophet, and the 
founder of a new religion, which would confirm the doctrine 
of Ismael, and secure to its followers the empire of the world. 
Since the creation, he told his followers, there have been 
six religious periods, each distinguished by the incarnation 
of a prophet. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and 
Mahomet were the prophets of those periods. Their mission 
was to lead men to ascending degrees of religious perfection. 

VOL. i. 1I3 H 


The seven imams of All's posterity are the seven interpre- 
ters of the hidden sense of Mahomet's religion, and the fore- 
runners of the most perfect doctrine, whose triumph is at 
hand : the doctrine of Mohammed, the son of Ismael. And as 
seven imams succeeded Mahomet, so there always were seven 
pontiffs after every previous prophet, and so there will be seven 
pontiffs after Mohammed. I am the first of these pontiffs. 
The pontiff's office is to explain to the initiated that every 
religion has two meanings, the one apparent, intended for 
the vulgar crowd, the other secret, and only true one, show- 
ing that all religions have but one aim. 

138. Origin of Quarmatites. Mohammad-ben-Hosain, sur- 
named Zaidan, a rich and patriotic Persian, was so captivated 
by the plan of Abdallah, that he made him a present of two 
millions of pieces of gold. But being persecuted by the 
governor of Susiana, Abdallah made his escape to Syria, 
where one of his missionaries converted, about 887, a certain 
Hamdan, famous under the name of Quarmat, who formed 
the sect known as the Quarmatites, whose power, rapidly 
developed during two centuries, caused the Khalifs to 
tremble on their thrones. 

139. Origin of Fatimite Dynasty. On Abdallah's death 
he was followed in the pontificate by one of his sons, Said- 
ben-Hosaia-ben- Abdallah, who asserted that he was the 
expected Fatimite Messiah, the Mahdi ; and when he was in- 
formed that numerous partisans were anxiously expecting 
him in Africa, Said, adopting the name of Obaid Allah the 
Mahdi, passed into Africa, overthrew the dynasty of the 
Aghlabites, ruling in Tripoli and Tunis, and founded the 
famous dynasty of the Fatimites (A.D. 909). His great- 
grandson, Moizz li dinillah, drove the Khalifs of Bagdad from 
Egypt, and laid the foundations of Cairo, which he made his 

140. The Lodge of Cairo. Here he founded the Lodge of 
Cairo, which might correctly be described as a university ; 
it contained many books and scientific instruments ; science 
was the professed object, but the real aim was very different. 
The course of instruction was divided into nine degrees. 
The first sought to inspire the pupil with doubts, and with 
confidence in his teacher who was to solve them. For this 
purpose captious questions were to show him the absurdity 
of the literal sense of the Koran, and obscure hints gave him 
to understand that under that shell was hidden a sweet and 
nutritious kernel ; but the instruction went no further un- 
less the pupil bound himself by dreadful oaths to blind faith 


in, and absolute obedience to, his instructor. The second 
inculcated the recognition of the imams, or directors, ap- 
pointed by God as the fountains of every kind of knowledge. 
The third informed him of the number of those blessed or 
holy imams, and that number was the mystical seven. 
The fourth informed him that God had sent into the world 
seven legislators, each of whom had seven coadjutors, and 
who were called mutes, whilst the legislators were called 
speakers. The fifth informed him that each of these coad- 
jutors had twelve apostles. The sixth placed before the 
eyes of the adept, advanced so far, the precepts of the 
Koran, and he was taught that all the dogmas of religion 
ought to be subordinate to the rule of philosophy ; he was 
also instructed in the systems of Plato and Aristotle. The 
seventh degree embraced mystical pantheism. The eighth 
again brought before him the dogmatic precepts of the 
Mohammedan law, estimating it at its just value. The ninth 
degree, finally, as the necessary result of all the former, 
taught that nothing was to be believed, and that everything 
was lawful. 

141. Progress of Doctrines. These were the ends aimed 
at human responsibility and dignity were to be annihilated ; 
the throne of the descendants of Fatima was to be surrounded 
with an army of assassins, a formidable body-guard ; a mys- 
terious militia was to be raised, that should spread far and 
wide the fame and terror of the caliphate of Cairo, and 
inflict fatal blows on the abhorred rule of Bagdad. The 
missionaries spread widely, and in Arabia and Syria partisans 
were won to whom the designs of the order were unknown, 
but who had with fearful solemnity sworn blind obedience. 
The nocturnal labours of the Lodge of Cairo lasted a cen- 
tury ; and its doctrines, which ended with denying all truth, 
morality, and justice, necessarily produced something very 
extraordinary. So terrible a shock to the human conscience 
led to one of those phenomena that leave a sanguinary and 
indelible trace on the page of history. 

It remains to be noticed that Hakem Biamrillah, the 
founder of the sect of the Druses (157), was originally a 
member of the Lodge of Cairo. 1 

1 The Mahdists have come to the front again in the present troubles in 
the Sudan. But according to the Times correspondent (5th June 1896), 
their power is at an end. Abdullah el Taaisha, who called himself the 
Khalifa of the Mahdi, now styles himself the Sultan of the Sudan, but his 
followers seem decreasing, and as they no longer form a secret society, 
their doings do not enter into the scope of this work. 



142. Foundation of Order. Only Arabia and Syria could 
have been the theatre of the dismal deeds of the Old Man, 
or rather Lord of the Mountain. Hassan Sabbah was one of 
the days or missionaries of the School of Cairo, a man of 
adventurous spirit, who, having greatly distinguished him- 
self, acquired much influence at Cairo. This influence, how- 
ever, excited the envy of others, who succeeded in having 
him exiled. He had been put on board a ship to take him 
out of the country, but a storm arising, all considered them- 
selves lost. But Hassan, assuming an authoritative air, 
exclaimed, "The Lord has promised me that no evil shall 
befall me." Suddenly the storm abated, and the sailors 
cried, "A miracle!" and became his followers. Hassan 
traversed Persia, preaching and making proselytes, and 
having seized the fortress of Alamut (1090), on the borders 
of Irak, and Dilem, which he called the " House of Fortune," 
he there established his rule. 

143. Influence of Hassan. What kind of rule ? The 
history of his time is full of his name. Kings in the very 
centre of Europe trembled at it ; his powerful arm reached 
everywhere. Philip Augustus of France was so afraid of 
him that he dared not stir without his guard around him ; 
and perhaps the otherwise implacable Lord of the Mountain 
forgave him because of his fear. At first he showed no 
other intention but to increase the sway of the caliphate of 
Cairo, but was not long before throwing of the mask, be- 
cause his fierce character submitted with difficulty to cunning 
and hypocrisy. He reduced the nine degrees into which the 
adherents of the Lodge of Cairo were divided to seven, 
placing himself at the head, with the title of Seydna or Sidna, 
whence the Spanish Cid, and the Italian Signore. The term 
Assassins is a corruption of Hashishim, derived from 
hashish (the hemp plant), with which the chief intoxi- 



cated his followers when they entered on some desperate 
enterprise. 1 

144. Degrees of the Order. To regulate the seven degrees 
he composed the Catechism of the Order. The first degree 
recommended to the missionary attentively to watch the 
disposition of the candidate, before admitting him to the 
order. The second impressed it upon him to gain the con- 
fidence of the candidate, by flattering his inclinations and 
passions ; the third, to involve him in doubts and difficulties 
oy showing him the absurdity of the Koran ; the fourth, to 
exact from him a solemn oath of fidelity and obedience, with 
a promise to lay his doubts before his instructor ; and the 
fifth, to show him that the most famous men of Church and 
State belonged to the secret order. The sixth, called " Con- 
firmation," enjoined on the instructor to examine the pro- 
selyte concerning the whole preceding course, and firmly 
to establish him in it. The seventh, finally, called the 
" Exposition of the Allegory," gave the keys of the sect. 

145. Devotion of Followers. The followers were divided 
into two great hosts, " self-sacrificers " and "aspirants." 
The first, despising fatigues, dangers, and tortures, joyfully 
gave their lives whenever it pleased the great master, who 
required them either to protect himself or to carry out his 
mandates of death. The victim having been pointed out, 
the faithful, clothed in a white tunic with a red sash, the 
colours of innocence and blood, went on their mission, with- 
out being deterred by distance or danger. Having found 
the person they sought, they awaited the favourable moment 
for slaying him, and their daggers seldom missed their aim. 
Conrad of Montferrat, having quarrelled with Raschid-addin, 
the then Lord of the Mountain, and also caused a number 
of Musulman prisoners, brought from Tyre, to be massacred, 
Saladin induced Raschid-addin to kill Conrad. Richard 
Coeur-de-Lion was long accused of having instigated the 
murder. Two Assassins allowed themselves to be baptized, 
and placing themselves beside him, seemed only intent on 
praying; but the favourable opportunity presenting itself, 
they slew him, and one of them took refuge in a church. 
But hearing that the prince had been carried off still alive, 
he again forced his way into Montferrat's presence, and 

1 This, at least, is the usual derivation. But it is doubtful, for hashish 
was not taken by the Assassins only, but by all Eastern nations. Possibly 
the word is derived from the Arab hass, meaning to ' destroy, kill.' The 
Jew Benjamin, who wrote in 1173, when speaking of the sect, says their 
name is derived from asasa, ' to lay snares.' 


stabbed him a second time; and then expired, without a 
complaint, amidst refined tortures. 

146. The Imaginary Paradise. How was such devotion 
secured? The story goes, according to Marco Polo, that 
whenever the chief had need of a man to carry out any 
particularly dangerous enterprise, he had recourse to the 
following stratagem : In a province of Persia, now named 
Sigistan, was the famous valley Mulebat, containing the 
palace of Alladin, another name of the Lord of the Moun- 
tain. This valley was a most delightful spot, and so pro- 
tected by high mountains terminating in perpendicular cliffs y 
that from them no one could enter the valley, and all the 
ordinary approaches were guarded by strong fortresses. 
The valley was cultivated as the most luxurious gardens, 
with pavilions splendidly furnished, their sole occupants 
being the most lovely and charming women. The man 
selected by the lord to perform the dangerous exploit was 
first made drunk, and in this state carried into the valley, 
where he was left to roam whithersoever he pleased. On 
coming to his senses sufficiently to appreciate the beautiful 
scenery, and to enjoy the charms of the sylph-like creatures, 
that kept him engaged all the time in amorous dalliance, he 
was made to believe that this was Elysium; but ere he 
wearied or became satiated with love and wine, he was once 
more made drunk, and in this state carried back to his own 
home. When his services were required, he was again sent 
for by the lord, who told him that he had once permitted him 
to enjoy paradise, and if he would do his bidding he could 
luxuriate in the same delights for the rest of his life. The 
dupe, believing that his master had the power to do all 
this, was ready to commit whatever crime was required of 

147. Sanguinary Character of Hassan. In that inacces- 
sible nest the vulture-soul of its master was alone with his 
own ambition ; and the very solitude, which constituted hi& 
power, must at times have weighed heavy upon him. And 
so it is said that he composed theological works, and gave 
himself up to frequent religious exercises. And this need 
not surprise us ; theological studies are no bar to ferocity, 
and mystical gentleness is often found united with sanguinary 
fury. But he killed with calculation, to gain fame and 
power, to inspire fear and secure success. He impressed on 
his followers the belief that he could see things happening 
at a distance, and having established a pigeon-post, he was 
frequently informed of distant events with a surprising 


rapidity. A Persian caliph thought of attacking and dis- 
persing the sect, and found on his pillow a dagger and a 
letter from Hassan, saying, " What has been placed beside 
thy head may be planted in thy heart." In spite of years 
he remained sanguinary to the last. With his own hand he 
killed his two sons ; the one for having slain a day, and the 
other for having tasted wine. He did not design to found 
a dynasty or regular government, but an order, sect, or 
secret society ; and perhaps his sons perished in consequence 
of badly disguising their desire to succeed him. 

148. Further Instances of Devotion in Followers. The 
obedience to the faithful did not cease with Hassan's death, 
as the following will show. Henry, Count of Champagne, 
had to pass close by the territory of the Assassins ; one of 
the successors of Hassan, Bishad-ad-din, invited him to visit 
the fortress, which invitation the Count accepted. On making 
the round of the towers, two of the "faithful," at a sign 
from the "Lord," stabbed themselves to the heart, and fell 
at the feet of the terrified Count ; whilst the master coolly 
said, " Say but the word, and at a sign from me you shall 
see them all thus on the ground." The Sultan having sent 
an ambassador to summon the rebellious Assassins to sub- 
mission, the lord, in the presence of the ambassador, said to 
one of the faithful, " Kill thyself ! " and he did it ; and to 
another, " Throw thyself from this tower ! " and he hurled 
himself down. Then turning to the ambassador, he said, 
" Seventy thousand followers obey me in the same manner. 
This is my reply to your master." The only exaggeration 
in this is probably in the number, the whole number of 
followers being never estimated above forty thousand, many 
of whom, moreover, were not "faithful ones/' but only aspi- 

149. Murder of Raschid-addiri s Ambassador. The Knights 
of the Temple had possessions in the neighbourhood of those 
of the Assassins, and their superior power had enabled them, 
at what time is uncertain, to render the latter tributaries 
to the amount of 2OOO ducats per annum. Easchid-addin, to 
whom all religions were alike, conceived the idea of releasing 
himself from this tribute by becoming, together with his 
people, Christians. He therefore sent in 1 172 an ambassador 
to Amalric, king of Jerusalem, offering to embrace Chris- 
tianity, provided the king would engage the Templars to 
renounce the tribute. The king readily assented to this, 
and at the same time assured the Templars that they should 
not be losers, as he would pay them the 2000 ducats annually- 


out of his treasury. The Templars made no objection, but 
on his way home the Ishmaelite ambassador was murdered 
by some Knights of the Temple, who, it would appear, acted 
by the orders of their superior, who probably did not con- 
sider the royal promise good for the tribute. At all events, 
when Amalric, full of indignation at the perfidious conduct 
of the Templars, insisted on their being punished, Adode 
St. Amand, the Master of the Temple, contented himself by 
saying that he had imposed penances on the murderers. 
The king, however, got hold of Du Mesnil, the leader in the 
assassination, and threw him into prison ; but the king 
soon after dying, Du Mesnil regained his liberty. All hopes 
of the conversion of the Ishmaelites, however, were at an 

150. Suppression of Assassins. Raschid-addin died in 
1 192. His successors had neither his genius nor his prestige. 
The days of the sect were counted. In 1256 Hoolagoo, the 
brother of Mongoo, the Great Khan of Mongolia, invaded 
Persia, and exterminated all the Assassins he could seize. 
Rokn-addin, the last Master of Alamut, was put to death ; 
most of his fortresses fell into the hands of Hoolagoo. But 
the Mameluk Sultan of Egypt having in 1 260 defeated the 
Mongolians, the fortresses were restored to the Ishmaelites. 
But this was only a respite; in 1265 they were forced to 
pay tribute to the Sultan of Egypt. Sarim, the then chief 
of the Assassins, in 1 270 made one more effort to throw off 
the Egyptian yoke, but he was defeated, and in 1273 the 
Assassins had surrendered all their strong places to Baibars 
I., Sultan of Egypt. But this ruler had no intention, like 
Hoolagoo, of exterminating the Assassins ; his object was to 
turn them to account. Ibn Batoutah, the traveller, in 1326 
found them residing in their ancient towns and fortified 
places : they are, he says, the arrows of the Sultan, with 
which he reaches his enemies. And from the preface to 
a, collection of anecdotes regarding Raschid-addin, made by 
Abou Firas about the year 1324, we learn that the doctrines 
of the Assassins continued to be openly professed. 

151. Modern Assassins. The sect is still in existence, 
both in Persia and Syria. The Persian Ishmaelites dwell 
chiefly in Roodbar, but they are to be met with all over the 
East, and even appear as traders on the banks of the 
Ganges. A. Drummond, British Consul at Aleppo, in his 
"Travels through Several Parts of Asia" (London, 1754, 
fol.), says (p. 217), "Some authors assert that these people 
[the Assassins] were entirely extirpated in the thirteenth. 


century by the Tartars . . . but I, who have lived so long 
in this infernal place, will venture to affirm that some of 
their spawn still exists in the mountains that surround us ; 
for nothing is so cruel, barbarous, and execrable that is 
not acted, and even gloried in, by these cursed Gourdins." 
Further, M. Rousseau, the French Consul at Aleppo, when 
travelling through Persia in 1810, found that the Assassins 
recognised as their chief an imam of the posterity of AH 
residing at Kehk, a small village between Ispahan and 
Teheran. His name was Shah Khaliloullah, and he was 
revered almost like a god and credited with the power of 
working miracles. Fraser, another traveller, says that the 
followers of Khaliloullah would, when he pared his nails, 
fight for the clippings ; the water in which he washed 
became holy water. This chief was killed, during a tem- 
porary sojourn at Yezd, in a riot against the governor of 
the town, and he was succeeded by his son. 

152. A Modern Assassin Chief. In 1866 a singular law 
case was decided at Bombay. There is in that city a 
numerous community of traders called Khodjas. A Persian, 
Aga Khan Mehelati, i.e., a native of Mehelat, a place situate 
near Khek, had sent an agent to Bombay to claim from the 
Khodjas the annual tribute due from them to him, and 
amounting to about ;io,OOO. The claim was resisted, and 
the British court was appealed to by Aga Khan. Sir Joseph 
Arnold investigated his claim. The Aga proved his pedigree, 
showing that he descended in a direct line from the fourth 
grandmaster of Alamut, and Sir Joseph declared it proved ; 
and it was further demonstrated by the trial that the 
Khodjas were members of the ancient sect of the Assassins, 
to which sect they had been converted four hundred years 
before by an Ishmaelite missionary, who composed a work 
which has remained the sacred book of the Khodjas ; it is 
written in a jargon which only the initiated can understand. 
In 184142, during the Afghan war, Aga Khan furnished 
to the British Government a contingent of light cavalry, 
raised at his own expense, for which he was awarded a 
pension, which, besides the ^20,000 per annum he receives 
from the Khodjas, enables him to live in good style either 
at Bombay, or Puna, or Bangalore, where he indulges in his 
favourite pastime, hunting. When the Prince of Wales 
was in India he paid a visit to Aga Khan, whose ancestor, 
Raschid-addin Sinan, had spared the life of Richard Cceur- 

153. Christian Princes in League with Assassins. Several 


Christian princes were suspected of conniving at the deeds- 
of the Assassins. Richard of England is one of them ; but 
we have seen (145) that he is free from the charge of having 
instigated the murder of that Conrad of Montferrat spoken 
of above. There also existed for a long time a rumour that 
Richard had attempted- the life of the king of France 
through Hassan and his Assassins. The nephew of Bar- 
barossa, Frederick II., was excommunicated by Innocent II. 
for having caused the Duke of Bavaria to be slain by the 
Assassins ; and Frederick II., in a letter to the king of 
Bohemia, accuses the Duke of Austria of having by similar 
agents attempted his life. Historians also mention an Arab 
who, in 1158, was discovered in the imperial camp at the 
siege of Milan, and on the point of stabbing the emperor. 
Who had armed that Assassin ? It is not known. Mutual 
distrust existed amongst the rulers of Europe, and the power 
of Hassan and his successors increased in accordance with it_ 



154. The Rosheniah Sect and its Founder. Another sect 
which grew out of that of the Ishmaelites was that of the 
Eosheniah. It was founded by Bayezid Ansari, the son of 
Abdullah, an Ulema of the tribe of Vurmud in Afghanistan. 
This Bayezid, though his father wished to bring him up to 
the priesthood, preferred traffic to learning, and took to the 
business of a travelling dealer in horses. Once, when stay- 
ing on business in the district of Calinjir, he fell in with a 
malhed, which is a common epithet by which Moslem writers 
denominate the Ishmaelites. From him Bayezid imbibed a 
new religious creed, and began to profess and inculcate it 
on his return home. But neither his father nor his neigh- 
bours favouring it, he left his native country, and found 
for a while a refuge with Ahmed, Sultan of Ningashar in 
Afghanistan. But meeting with much opposition on the 
part of the people, he left Ningashar, and took up his resi- 
dence among the Afghans of Gharihel, in the vicinity of 
Peshawur, where he had little difficulty in gaming proselytes,, 
whom he initiated into his doctrines. They were graduated 
into eight degrees of knowledge, each of which are termed 
zeker, and his disciples were in the same manner arranged 
into eight classes, which he denominated Khilwat. He com- 
posed for his followers formularies of instruction ; to the 
Afghans he delivered his instructions in the Afghan, to the 
Hindoos in Hindi, and to the Persians in the Persian lan- 
guage ; and such was the versatility of his genius, that even 
his enemies admit his writings to be composed in the most 
attractive style. When his disciples had reached the eighth 
mystic degree, he informed them that they had now attained 
perfection, and had nothing more to do with the ordinances 
or prohibitions of the law. He then collected his most trusty 
followers into a body, took up his residence in the steep 
mountains of Afghanistan, plundered merchants, levied con- 
tributions, and propagated his doctrines by force of arms. 



It was said that the female sex were his most ardent votaries, 
and he employed them to seduce the young men of the 
Afghan tribes. In the first stages of their initiation the 
young men and young women were classed separately, but 
as they advanced in illumination these restrictions were 
removed, and they were allowed to mix in promiscuous 
assemblies. As his power increased the expression of his 
doctrines became more bold ; he totally denied the doctrine 
of a future state, and directed his most perfect disciples 
to follow their pleasures without reserve, and gratify their 
inclinations without scruple. He also inculcated on his 
followers an absolute right to dispose of the lives and 
properties of all who did not adhere to his sect. He even- 
tually removed to the district of Hashtnagar, which the 
Afghans consider the region of their original settlement in 
Afghanistan, where he founded a city, and assumed the 
title of PIT Roshan, which may be translated the ' Father of 
Light,' whence his followers took the name of Rosheniah, or 
the Enlightened. 

155. Death of Bayezid. The Moghul Government became 
alarmed at the spread of Bayezid's doctrines. Mahsan Khan 
Ghazi, an officer of great merit, who was then governor of 
Cabul, made a sudden irruption into the district of Hasht- 
nagar, and having seized Bayezid, conducted him to Cabul, 
where he exhibited him as a spectacle to the populace, with 
his hair shaven on one side of the head, and left untouched 
on the other. But Bayezid is said to have bribed Mahsan 
Khan's religious instructor, whereby he regained his liberty. 
Bayezid then retreated with his followers to the almost in- 
accessible hill country of Tirah, where he set about retrieving 
his late disgrace, and prosecuted his plans with such vigour 
and policy, that his sect began to assume a national character, 
and his doctrines to be considered as the peculiar religion of 
the Afghans. Bayezid announced his design of conquering 
Khorasan and Hindustan, but on descending with that view 
into the plains of Ningashar, he was again met by Mahsan 
Khan Ghazi, who routed his irregular forces, and the leader 
himself with difficulty made his escape ; but the fatigues he 
underwent and the distress he suffered within a few days 
put an end to his life. 

1 56. Extinction of Sect. But his followers were numerous 
and enthusiastic ; on his death his eldest son addressed them 
thus : " Come on, my friends ; your Pir is not dead, but has 
resigned his place to his son, Sheik Omar, and conferred on 
him and his followers the empire of the whole world." But 


Omar was soon after slain in a battle with the Yusefzei, the 
bravest and most powerful of all the Afghan tribes. Of his 
four brothers, Jalal-eddin, the youngest alone remained 
alive, and he also, after various changes of good and ill 
fortune, perished by the sword of a soldier of the Hazarah 
tribe. He was succeeded by Ahdad, his son ; he perished 
by a musket-shot when besieged in his fortress of Meaghae 
by the Moghuls (about 1650). The Afghans, after hi& 
death, carried away Abdal Kader, his son, and betook them- 
selves to the mountains. When the emperor's army entered 
the fortress, the daughter of Ahdad, who had found no oppor- 
tunity of escape, was roaming about the walls, when one of 
the soldiers attempted to seize her. She threw her robe 
over her face, and flung herself down from the battlements 
and perished. The descendants of Ahdad continued to rule 
till about 1700, when Cerimdad was put to death by Said 
Khan of larakhan, after having surrendered up the gov- 
ernment. His brother, Allah-da-Khani, was appointed a, 
command of four thousand in the Dakhin. He died about 


157. Origin of Sect of Druses. The Ishmaelites of Egypt 
and Syria may be found even to this day in some of the sects 
of Islam. Their primitive physiognomy reveals itself but 
faintly ; but their profile is seen in the lineaments of some 
of the heretical families wandering in the wilderness or 
on Mount Lebanon; objects of inquietude to the Turkish 
Government, of wonder to travellers, and of study to science. 
Of these, the Druses, living in Northern Syria, and possessing 
about forty towns and villages, are perhaps the most remark- 
able. Their sect may be said to date its rise from the sup- 
posed incarnation of God in Hakem Biamr Allah, publicly 
announced at Cairo in 1020. This Hakem was the sixth 
caliph of Egypt ; and Darazi, his confessor, took an active 
part in promoting the imposture, which, however, was at 
first so badly received that he was compelled to take refuge 
in the deserts of the Lebanon, where, receiving liberal 
pecuniary support from Hakem, he found hearers among 
the Arabs, and soon made converts. According to other 
accounts, Darazi was killed for preaching his doctrine, and 
thus became the first martyr to the new religion. A footing 
thus gained, corespondence was opened with Egypt, and 
Hamze, a Persian mystic and vizier of Hakem, who had from 
the first been a zealous supporterof Hakem's divinity, hastened 
to avail himself of the favourable opening. Ten years did 
not elapse before the two clever rogues or fiery fanatics 
had converted nearly all the Arab tribes inhabiting the 
Lebanon, while one portion of them were set apart and 
initiated into the mysteries of the doctrines of Hamze. 
But he did not give his name to the sect ; by a natural 
etymology the disciples of Darazi, the first teacher, obtained 
the name of Druses, though they reject it, and call them- 
selves Unitarians. We may thus look upon the Fatimite 
Caliph Hakem, the Persian Hamze, and the Turk Darazi 

as the founders of the Druse system, Hakem being its poli- 



iical founder, Hamze its intellectual framer, and Darazi its 
expositor and propagator. 

158. Religious Books of the Druses. Hamze associated with 
himself four assistants, to whom, as well as to himself, he 
gave high-sounding names. He called himself, for instance : 
Universal Reason, the Centre, the Messiah of Nations, Jesus, 
the United, i.e., He who is ever united with the god Hakem. 
He had, moreover, 159 disciples, who went about preaching. 
The Druses call their religious books, "The Sittings of the 
Rulers and their Learned Men ; " they are comprised in 
six volumes : the first has the title, " The Diploma ; " the 
second, "The Refutation;" the third, "The Awakening;" 
the fourth, "The First of the Seven Parts;" the fifth, 
"The Staircase;" and the sixth, "The Reproaches." In 
1817, the Druses obtained a seventh volume from a Christian, 
who alleged to have found it in an Egyptian school, and 
which they call "The Book of the Greeks." 

159. Murder of Hakem. Hakem was one of the most 
cruel monsters on record, a Saracenic Nero. Amidst carnage 
and the most revolting persecutions he spread his doctrine. 
But in Egypt, where he resided, his heresy outraged the true 
believers, and his savagery the whole people. Sitt El Mulk, 
his own sister, headed the malcontents, and one evening 
when, according to his custom, he took his ride on a white 
ass, she caused him to be assassinated by some trusty 
followers, who, after having despatched him with their 
daggers, undressed him and securely concealed the naked 
body. They then carefully fastened up his clothes again, 
by order of his sister, who did not wish the belief in his 
divinity to be destroyed. At last, when the caliph did not 
return, and those sent to look for him returned with the 
news that they had found his clothes but not his body, it 
was said that Hakem had simply rendered himself invisible, 
to test the faith of his followers, and to punish apostates on 
his return. And the Druses, to explain the miracle, say 
that Hakem possessed a body of a more subtile substance 
than the usual human body, and could go forth out of his 
clothes without opening or tearing them. The dagger cuts 
in them are explained away as mysterious indications of 
certain purposes of their deity. 

1 60. Hakem' s Successor. Hakem left two sons, but the 
sect did not acknowledge them as such. Ali Ess Ssahir, 
who succeeded his father as caliph, is reported to have said 
to Hamze, "Worship me, as you worshipped my father;" 
but Hamze* replied, "Our Lord, who be praised, neither 


begat nor was he begotten." Ali replied, "Then I and my 
brother are illegitimate ? " Hamze answered, " You have 
said it, and borne testimony against yourself." Thereupon 
the enraged Ali ordered the wholesale murder of the Uni- 
tarians unless they returned to the true Moslem faith. 
Those who refused were either slain or fled to Syria to their 
co-religionists. Ali, to conciliate the people, who had by 
his father's despotism and oppression been greatly embittered 
against his dynasty, gave up all title to divine honours and 
the rights it implied. 

161. Doctrines. The Druses believe in the transmigration 
of souls ; but probably it is merely a figure, as it was to the 
Pythagoreans. Hakem is their prophet ; and they have 
seven commandments, religious and moral. The first of 
these is veracity, by which is understood faith in the uni- 
tarian religion they profess, and the abhorrence of that lie 
which is called polytheism, incredulity, error. To a brother 
perfect truth and confidence are due ; but it is allowable, 
nay, a duty, to be false towards men of another creed. The 
sect is divided into three degrees, Profanes, Aspirants, and 
Wise. A Druse who has entered the second, may return to 
the first degree, but incurs death if he reveal what he has 
learned. In their secret meetings they are supposed to 
worship a calf's head ; but as their religious books are full 
of denunciations against idolatry, and as they also compare 
Judaism, Christianity, and Mahommedanism to a calf, it is 
more probable that this effigy represents the principle of 
falsehood and evil, Iblis, the rival and enemy of Hakem. 
The Druses have also been accused of licentious orgies ; and! 
are said by Bespier in his "Remarks on Ricaut" [an Eng- 
lish diplomatist (d. 1700)] to marry their own daughters; 
but according to the evidence of resident Christians, a young 
Druse, as soon as he is initiated, gives up all dissolute habits, 
and becomes, at least in appearance, quite another man, 
meriting, as in other initiations, the title of "new-born." 
The initiated are known by the appellation of Ockals, and 
form a kind of priesthood in the midst of the general popula- 
tion. According to their traditions, the world was at the 
appearance of God in the form of Hakem, three thousand 
four hundred and thirty million years old, and they believe, 
like the Chiliasts of England and America, that the millen- 
nium is close at hand. The Wise often retire into hermi- 
tages, whereby they acquire great honour and influence. 
When discoursing with a Mahoinmedan, the Druses profess 
to be of the same creed ; when talking with a Christian, they 


are Christians. They defend this deception by alleging that 
it is not lawful to reveal any dogma of their creed to a 
"Black," or unbeliever; and their secrecy with regard to 
their religion has led them to adopt signs and passwords, 
such as are in use among Freemasons and other secret 
societies. When in doubt whether a stranger with whom 
they conversed belonged to their sect, they would ask, 
"Do people in your part of the country sow balm-seed ?" 
If the other replied, " Yes, it is sown in the hearts of the 
faithful," he probably was a co-religionist; but he might be 
an Aspirant only, and therefore they would question him 
further as to some of the secret dogmas ; if he did not under- 
stand the drift of their question, they would know that he 
was not initiated into the higher grades. But their signs 
and test-words and phrases had frequently to be changed, 
their import having been discovered by the Blacks, which 
happened especially when the extensive hermit village of 
Bajjada, near Chasbaia, was destroyed in 1838 by the troops 
of Ibrahim Pasha, and the sacred books of the Druses were 
made publicly known. 

162. Customs of the Druses. Every village has its meeting- 
houses, where religious and political affairs are discussed 
every Thursday night, the Wise, men and women, attending. 
The resolutions passed at such meetings are communicated 
to the district meetings, held in the chief village of every 
district, which again report to the general assembly in the 
town of Baklin on Mount Lebanon. This was the fortified 
seat of government until, in this century, Deir El-Kammar 
(the moon-monastery) was built as the Lebanon metropolis. 
At the general assembly the questions raised at the district 
meetings are discussed, and the deputies from the different 
villages who have attended, on their return home, announce 
the decisions arrived at ; so that the Druses, in fact, have a 
regular family council, to which, however, the Wise only are 
admitted, the uninitiated never being consulted in political 
or social matters. The civil government of the Druses is in 
the hands of the Sheiks, who again are subject to the Emir, 
or Prince of Lebanon. They are warlike and industrious, 
and two traits in their character deserve notice and com- 
mendation ; they refuse to give up any man who has sought 
refuge amongst them, and detest the European tall hat, 
which they compare to a "cooking-pot," and laugh at. In 
the days when Burckhardt visited them, one of their male- 
dictions was, "May God put a hat on you ! " The number 
of Druses does not exceed fifty or sixty thousand, exclusively 

VOL. I. I 


occupying in the Lebanon upwards of forty large towns and 
Tillages, and nearly two hundred and thirty villages with a 
mixed population of Druses and Christians, whilst in the 
Anti-Lebanon they are also possessed of nearly eighty ex- 
clusively Druse villages. 

163. Druses and Maronites. The Druses were frequently 
at war with the Maronites, a neighbouring Christian sect, so 
called after Maro, its founder (circa 400 A.D.), originally 
fugitive Monothelites, who had settled on Mount Lebanon 
after the accession of Anastasius II. (496-8), who persecuted 
them as long as the Turkish Government favoured the Druses, 
in order to keep down the influence of the Maronites. The 
former, though the less warlike people, generally prevailed 
.against the latter, but when the ruling Emir, Bence-Schi- 
hab, with his family, seceded from Mahommedanism and 
became Maronite Christians, the Maronites were for a time 
masters of the situation. In 1860, however, when the 
Maronites, for the promotion of Christianity, declared war 
against the Druses, Turkey again assisted the latter. True, 
the Porte afterwards changed sides, and supported the 
Maronites, partly because Europe insisted on the Christians 
being protected, and partly because it suited Turkish policy 
to so protect them ; for the Maronites had by that time been 
so weakened, that Turkey considered the opportunity favour- 
able to break the power of the Druses also. Since then the 
latter are under a governor appointed by the Porte. 1 

164. The Ansaireeh or Nuseiriyeh. This is another Syrian 
sect, who worship a mystic Triad, consisting of Ali, Moham- 
mad, and an early companion of the latter, Selman el Farsi, 
whence their mystical name, Ams, formed from the initial 
letters of the three names. This Triad is ultimately resolved 
into Light, or the Sky, the Sun, and the Moon, the first 
being illimitable, the second proceeding from the first, and 
the last proceeding from the other two. Their religion is 
largely made up of Christian, Jewish, and Mohammedan 
elements, but there cannot be a doubt that beneath them all 
are remnants of the old Sabaean faith. Some of their doc- 
trines, which have become known, advocate the most licen- 
tious practices, especially between the priests and the female 
members of their congregations. They invoke the Deity 
under extraordinary appellations, such as " Prince of Bees," 
"Lion," "End of Ends." They are supposed to be the 
aborigines of Northern Syria, and to have remained in the 

1 At the present time (July 1896) the Druses are in rebellion against the 


mountain chain stretching from Mount Cassius to the 
Lebanon, while successive tides of conquest have swept 
along the valleys on either side. It is difficult to ascertain 
exactly the details of their religion, both because it is secret 
and ill-digested, and because few among them understand 
it, or have fixed points of agreement or disagreement. They 
number about two hundred thousand, and derive their name 
from a sectary called Nusa'iri. Burckhardt, in his " Travels 
in Syria and Palestine," gives some curious particulars con- 
cerning them, which will not bear transferring to these 


165. Dervishes. Also called Fakirs, and a monastic order 
of Islamism. Mahomet prohibited the introduction of monks 
into his religious system ; but thirty years after the death 
of the Prophet, monks made their appearance, and it is 
supposed that there are now seventy-two orders of them. 
But twelve of them are undoubtedly older than Islamism. 

The four chief orders are : i. The Eifajeh, who carry black 
flags and wear black or dark-brown turbans. They practise 
jugglers' tricks, such as swallowing daggers, eating fire, 
charming serpents, &c. 2. The Kaderijeh, with white flags and 
turbans ; they are chiefly fishermen. 3. The Said Bidani, whose 
founder is the greatest saint of the Egyptian Moslems, Said 
Achmed El Bidani. Their colours are red and white, and 
they are divided into several sects. They wear an absurd 
costume and act as buffoons. 4. The Said Ibrahim, with 
green flags, and turbans. All that is known of them is that 
they have a monastery at Alexandria. 

1 66. Shiites and Sunnites. The Dervishes are, moreover, 
divided into two grand bodies, named as above, the former 
being Egyptian, the latter Turkish Dervishes. These latter 
are our great enemies in India. The pilgrims from that 
country propagate at Constantinople antagonism to our rule, 
and return to India strengthened with the sympathies of the 
Mussulman world. It is a remarkable circumstance, that 
though the Ulema are opposed to the Dervishes, they being 
looked upon as heterodox, men of great intellect, orthodox in 
their principles, and occupying high positions in the state, 
should enrol themselves in the order. The only explanation 
may be found in their study of the Persian Soof ee poets, whose 
doctrine, which is that of the Dervishes, is that form of 
spiritualism which ends in Pantheism, teaching that God is, 
or may enter into, all things spiritual, and which approximates 
to that materialism of which Buddhism is the exponent. 

167. Doctrines. The Dervishes have their "Paths," which 



are generally governed by twelve officers, the oldest " Court " 
superintending the others by right of seniority. The master 
of the Court is called Sheik, and he has his deputies, caliphs, 
or successors, of which there may be many. The order is 
divided into four " columns " or degrees. The first is that of 
" Humanity," which supposes " annihilation in the Sheik ; " 
the second is that of the "Path," in which the "murid," or 
disciple, attains spiritual powers and self-annihilation into 
the " Peer," or founder of the Path. The third stage is called 
" Knowledge," and the murid is supposed to become inspired, 
which is called " annihilation into the Prophet." The fourth 
degree leads him even to God, when he becomes part of the 
Deity, and sees him in all things. After this, the Sheik con- 
fers on him the grade of "Caliph," or "Honorary Master," 
for, in their mythical language, " the man must die before 
the saint can be born, and when born, he is but a useless 
and despicable animal." 

There is a widespread belief in the East that the Free- 
masons are in secret connection with the Dervishes; but 
the idea is foolish and unlikely. It was, however, always 
suspected that whenever mischief against our rule is astir 
among the Mussulman population, especially in India, the 
Dervishes are at the bottom of it. It is not quite certain to 
what order the Dervishes we have to fight in Africa belong, 
but it is clear that, unlike their brethren in Asia, they pursue 
political ends, and are instigated by fierce fanaticism ; and as 
every Mohammedan can belong to a religious order without 
any outward indication of it, and as such connection is always 
kept secret, Great Britain does not really know the number 
of her enemies in Africa. 



" The heretic foxes have various faces, but they all hang together by 
their tails." POPE GEEGORY IX. 


1 68. Transition from Ancient to Modern Initiations. 
An order of facts now claims our attention which in a 
certain manner signalises the transition from ancient to 
modern initiations. An extraordinary phenomenon in social 
conditions becomes apparent, so strikingly different from 
what we meet with in antiquity, as to present itself as a 
new starting-point. Hitherto we have seen the secret 
organising itself in the higher social classes, so as to de- 
prive the multitude of truths, whose revelation could not 
have taken place without injury and danger to the hierarchy. 
At the base we find polytheism, superstition ; at the summit, 
deism, rationalism, the most abstract philosophy. 

169. Spirit of Ancient and Modern Secret Societies. The 
secret societies of antiquity were theological, and theology 
frequently inculcated superstition ; but in the deepest re- 
cesses of the sanctuary there was a place, where it would 
laugh at itself and the deluded people, and draw to itself 
the intelligences that rebelled against the servitude of fear, 
by initiating them into the only creed worthy of a free man. 
To that theology, therefore, otherwise very learned and not 
cruel, and which promoted art and science, much may be 
forgiven, attributing perhaps not to base calculation, but to 
sincere conviction and thoughtful prudence, the dissimulation 
with which it concealed the treasures of truth and knowledge, 
that formed its power, glory, and, in a certain manner, its 

In modern times the high religious and political spheres 
have no secrets, for they have no privilege of knowledge, nor 
initiations which confer on those higher in knowledge the 
right to sit on the seat of the mighty, and no one, without 
being guilty of an anachronism and preparingfor himself bitter 
disappointments, can seek the truth where there is but a de- 
lusive show of it. Whoever persists in making any fictitious 
height the object of his ambition, removes his eyes from the 



horizon which, lit up by the dawn, casts light around his feet,, 
while his head is yet in darkness. Henceforth secret societies 
are popular and religious, not in the sense of the constituted 
and official church, but of a rebellious and sectarian church ; 
and since at a period when the authority of the church is 
paramount, and religion circulates through all the veins 
of the state, no change can be effected without heresy, 
so this must necessarily be the first aspect of political and 
intellectual revolt. This heresy makes use of the denial and 
rejection of official dogmas, in order to overthrow the hated 
clerocracy, and to open for itself a road to civil freedom. 

170. The Circumcellians. The Papacy was necessarily the 
first cradle of the new conspirators, who at an early date 
arose out of it. In the second century the Adamites became 
conspicuous. They asserted that by Christ's death they were 
as innocent as Adam before the Fall, and were accused of 
praying naked in their assemblies. We may incidentally 
mention that the sect was renewed in the fifteenth century 
by one Picard, a native of Flanders. But a more important 
sect which arose in the first century of Christianity was that 
of the Circumcellians, who were a branch of the Donatists, 
the followers of Donatus, the schismatic Bishop of Carthage 
(A.D. 311), who at that early age already preached against 
the corruptions of the Romish Church. By the violent per- 
secution they experienced, some of the Bishop's adherents 
were turned into fanatics, and bands of them roamed about 
the country (hence their name, compounded of circum cellas), 
preaching reformation and redressing grievances, setting free 
slaves, and remitting debts, without consulting the parties 
most interested, and occasionally committing greater crimes. 
Some of these fanatics, in a mistaken zeal for martyrdom, 
threw themselves down precipices, leaped into the fire, or 
cut their own throats. The sect existed some thirteen or 
fourteen years, when it was suppressed by the magistracy. 
A heretical sect, bearing the same name, existed also in 
the twelfth and thirteenth centuries in Germany, denying 
the authority of popes, bishops, and priests, and the legality 
of ecclesiastical interdicts. 

171. The Albigenses. One of the most extensive and active 
heresies was that of the Albigenses, so called after their chief 
town, Albi, whence they spread all over Southern France. 
The sect was the offspring of Manichasism ; it fructified in its 
turn the germs of the Templars and Rosicrucians, and of all 
those associations that continued the struggle and fought 
against ecclesiastical and civil oppression. 


172. Objects of the Albigenses. It is to be noticed that the 
object of the Albigenses in so far differed from that of all 
posterior sects, that its blows were intended for Papal Home 
alone ; and wholly Papal was the revenge taken through the 
civil arm, and with priestly rage. The Albigenses were the 
Ghibellines of France, and combined with all who were 
opposed to Rome, especially with Frederick II. and the 
Arragonese, in maintaining the rights of kings against the 
pretensions of the Papal See. Their doctrines had a special 
influence on the University of Bologna, wholly imperial ; 
Dante was imperialistic, tainted with that doctrine, and 
therefore hated by the Guelphs. 

173. Tenets of the Albigenses. Toulouse was the Rome 
of that church, which had its pastors, bishops, provincial 
and general councils, like the official church, and assembled 
under its banners the dissenters of a great portion of Europe, 
all meditating the ruin of Rome and the restoration of the 
kingdom of Jerusalem. The rising in Provence gathered 
strength from the circumstances in which it took place. 
The Crusaders had revived Eastern Manichaeism, placing 
Europe in immediate contact with sophisticated Greece, 
with Mahommedan and Pantheistic Asia. The East, more- 
over, contributed Aristotle and his Arab commentators, to 
which must be added the subtleties of the cabala and the 
materialism of ideas. Philosophy, republicanism, and indus- 
try assailed the Holy See. Various isolated rebellions had 
revealed the general spirit, and wholesale slaughter had not 
repressed it; the rationalism of the Waldenses so called 
after Peter Waldo, the founder of the sect connected itself 
with the German mysticism of the Rhine and the Nether- 
lands, where the operatives rose against the counts and the 
bishops. Every apostle that preached pure morality, the 
religion of the spirit, the restoration of the primitive church, 
found followers ; the century of Louis IX., or the Saint 
(1226-70), is the century of unbelief in the Church of Rome, 
and the Impossibilia of Sigero foreshadowed those of Strauss. 

174. Aims of the Albigenses. The heresy of the Albigenses 
made such progress along the shores of the Mediterranean, 
that several countries seemed to separate from Rome, while 
princes and emperors openly favoured it. Not satisfied with 
already considering impious Rome overthrown, the Albigenses 
suddenly turned towards the Crusaders, at first looked at 
with indifference, hoping to make Jerusalem the glorious 
and powerful rival of Rome, there to establish the seat 
of the Albigenses, to restore the love of religion in its first 


home, to found on earth the heavenly Jerusalem, of which 
Godfrey of Bouillon was proclaimed king. This was the man 
who had carried fire and sword into Rome, slain (i 5th October 
1080) the anti-Caesar Rodolphe, " the king elected by priests," 
and thrust the Pope out of the holy city, deserving thereby, and 
by the hopes entertained of him, the infinite praises for his 
piety, purity, and chastity bestowed on him by the troubadours, 
who originally appeared in the first quarter of the twelfth 
century, in the allegorical compositions known by the name of 
the " Knight of the Swan." The project of making Jerusalem 
the rival of Rome assigned an important part to the Templars, 
who perhaps were aware of and sharers in it. 

175. The Cathari. Italy, though watched by Rome, nay, 
because watched, supported the new doctrines. Milan was 
one of the most active foci of the Cathari (the Pure) ; in 
1 1 66 that city was more heretical than Catholic. In 1150 
there were Cathari at Florence, and the women especially 
were most energetic in the dissemination of the dogmas of 
the sect, which became so powerful as to effect in the city 
a revolution in favour of the Ghibellines. At Orvieto 
Catharism prevailed in 1125, and was persecuted in 1163; 
the persecution was most fierce at Verona, Ferrara, Modena, 
&c. In 1224 a great number of these sectaries met in 
Calabria and Naples, and even Rome was full of them. 
But Lombardy and Tuscany were always the chief seats of 
this revolt. 

176. Doctrines and Tenets. But we have only scanty 
notices of this sect, because, unlike other heretical associa- 
tions, it sought to conceal its operations. It bore great 
resemblance to Manichaeism and the dogmas of the Albi- 
genses, like which latter, it concealed its doctrines not only 
from the world at large, but even from its proselytes of 
inferior degrees. They believed in the metempsychosis, 
assuming that to attain to the light, seven such transmigra- 
tions were required ; but, as in other cases, this was probably 
an emblematic manner of speaking of the degrees of initia- 
tion. They attributed the origin of the visible and of the 
invisible world to different creators; the former was the 
creation of the evil spirit, wherefore they rejected the Old 
Testament account of the creation, as also the incarnation of 
Christ, purgatory, hell, &c. They had communistic tenden- 
cies, and were averse to marriage; philanthropists, above 
all they led industrious lives, combined saving habits with 
charity, founded schools and hospitals, crossed lands and seas 
to make proselytes, denied to magistrates the right of taking 


away life, did not disapprove of suicide, and preceded the 
Templars in the contempt of the cross. They could not 
understand how Christians could adore the instrument of 
the death of the Saviour, and said that the cross was the 
figure of the beast mentioned in the Apocalypse and an 
abomination in a holy place. They performed their cere- 
monies in woods, caverns, remote valleys ; wherefore those 
belonging to this heresy and others deriving from it could 
well answer the question : Where did our ancient brethren 
meet before there were any lodges ? In every place. They 
were accused of strangling or starving the dying, and of 
burning children; charges also brought against the Mith- 
raics, Christians, Gnostics, Jews, and quite recently against 
the Irish Roman Catholics. The accusation, as in the other 
cases, probably arose from some symbolical sacrifice, literally 
interpreted by their opponents. They had four sacraments, 
and the consolation consisted in the imposition of hands, or 
baptism of the Holy Spirit, which, bestowed only on adults, 
remitted sins, imparted the consoling spirit, and secured 
eternal salvation. During persecutions the ceremonies were 
shortened, and were held at night and secretly : the lighted 
tapers symbolised the baptism of fire. At the ceremony 
of initiation the priest read the first eighteen verses of the 
Gospel of St. John, a custom still practised in some Masonic 
degrees. In remembrance of his initiation the novice re- 
ceived a garment made of fine linen and wool, which he wore 
under his shirt ; the women a girdle, which they also wore 
next to the skin just under the bosom. 

177. Persecution of the Cathari. The following may suffice 
as an instance of the persecution to which the Cathari were 
subject in those religious days. Dolcino, the leader of a 
sect of the Cathari, who called themselves the "Apostolic," 
because they endeavoured to restore the Christianity of the 
Apostles, and who predicted the downfall of the then already 
most corrupt Papacy, was pursued by the Inquisition (1307). 
With 1400 of his followers, Dolcino took refuge on a hill 
in the district of Vercelli. But the Apostolic were taken ; 
Dolcino and his wife Margaret were torn to pieces, limb by 
limb, by order of the holy fathers, and the pieces afterwards 
burnt by the public executioner. Against such of the fol- 
lowers of Dolcino as had not been seized with their leader, 
Clement V. ordered a crusade, granting plenary absolution 
to all who took part in it. Fifteen years after Dolcino's. 
death thirty of his disciples were burnt alive on the market- 
place at Padua. 


178. The Waldenses or Vaudois. This sect arose in the 
twelfth century, and was so named after its founder, Peter 
Waldus, a rich citizen of Lyons. Its aims were, to a great 
extent, similar to those of the Albigenses. Persecuted by 
the Church, its members spread over a great part of Europe. 
In the thirteenth century the Pope instituted a crusade 
against them, the details of which belong to general history. 
The principles of the Vaudois, however, remained unsubdued, 
and at the Eeformation their descendants were reckoned 
among the Protestants, though they differed, and continue 
to differ, from them in many doctrinal points, and they 
remain as a distinct sect in many parts of Europe. But it 
was only in 1 848 that by the edict of the king of Sardinia 
they were granted religious liberty and equal civil and poli- 
tical rights with the Roman Catholic population of that 
kingdom. According to Rulman Merswin, who wrote be- 
tween 1370-80 at Strasbourg, a community of Vaudois then 
lived hidden in the mountains of Switzerland, calling them- 
selves by the name of "Friends of God." The Anabaptists, 
Lollards, Beghards, and Beguines all sprang from this sect. 

179. Luciferians. Another sect which sprung from the 
Cathari was that of the Luciferians, which must not be 
confounded with that so named after Lucifer, Bishop of 
Cagliari, and which existed for a short time under Theodo- 
sius the Great. The Luciferians, or Devil-worshippers, to 
be spoken of here arose in the twelfth or thirteenth century ; 
their chief seats were in the principality of East Friesland. 
The Frieslanders, having refused to pay tithes to the arch- 
bishops of Bremen, they were proclaimed heretics. Konrad 
von Marburg, infamous for hypocrisy and cruelty, took the 
part of the Church, and nothing shows the mental besotted- 
ness of the clergy of those days better than the report sent 
to the Pope, Gregory IX., and adopted by this latter as a 
true statement of facts, as is apparent from his Bull, pub- 
lished in 1233. According to Konrad's report, as repro- 
duced in the Pope's Bull, the Luciferians, when initiating 
a candidate, first caused a frog or toad to appear to him, 
which he had to kiss, or to draw its tongue and saliva into 
his own mouth. This animal usually appeared in its natural 
size, sometimes as large as a goose, but more generally as 
large as a baker's oven ! 

Then a pale man, consisting of only skin and bone, appeared 
to the novice, who had to kiss him, after which the novice 
lost all recollection of the Catholic faith. A black tom-cat 
then descended through a statue, which was always found 


in the meeting-place of these heretics, and when they all 
had kissed the animal's hinder quarters, the lights were ex- 
tinguished, and the most licentious practices indulged in. 
The candles having been re-lighted, a man appeared, more 
glorious than the sun in his upper parts, while the lower 
part of his body resembled that of a cat, who received a 
piece of cloth torn off the novice's clothes, as a pledge that 
henceforth the new initiate belonged to him. These heretics 
further said that God unjustly cast Lucifer into hell, but 
that eventually the devil would be restored to his former 
glory and happiness. 

1 80. Origin of Demi-worship. Now it is certain that in 
the dark ages, when men were crushed under superstition 
and cruelty, when cleric and secular oppressors the former 
the worse of the two rendered life almost unbearable to 
the serf and the bondsman, these, seeing themselves for- 
saken by God and his saints, naturally appealed to the 
Devil for protection, and hence a kind of Devil-worship 
arose ; wherefore we may accept the charge brought against 
the Luciferians of believing in the Devil's eventual restora- 
tion as true ; nor is it a serious one : very pious people such, 
as the Everlasting Gospellers, held that belief. But the 
other charges are too absurd to require serious refutation. 

We are told that the Luciferians had their signs of re- 
cognition, and used to accost one another thus: "Lucifer, 
who has been wronged, greets thee." To prevent an unini- 
tiated to enter their assemblies, they would put the ques- 
tion, "Do thorns prick to-day ? " the answer to which is not 
recorded, but of course was known to the initiated only. 
The places where they held their meetings were called 
"cellars of repentance." The charge of committing unnatural 
crimes brought against them was one brought by the Church 
against all heretics ; but the Luciferians were not so accused 
till late in the thirteenth century, when the sect had ceased 
to exist, having been exterminated by the word and fire of 
Holy Mother Church. 

There existed numerous other sects, named either after 
their founders or the localities in which they arose, such 
as the Messalians, the Bogomiles, supposed to be sprung 
from the latter, the Cainians, the Encrafites, and others ; 
yet none of them were of such importance as those spoken 
of above. But whatever might be their determination, the 
members of all these sects in the course of several centuries 
supplied many victims to the torture-chambers and faggots 
of the Inquisition, the Church cunningly mixing up heresy 


with witchcraft. Thomas Stapleton, who during the reign 
of Queen Elizabeth emigrated to Holland, to escape the 
persecution of the Eoman Catholics in this country, wrote 
a book on the question why clergy and witchcraft spread 
simultaneously to such an extent, which two evils he called 
the twin-children of the Devil. The author died in 1598. 
Even after this date it was damnable heresy to deny the 
existence of witchcraft. In 1725 the principality of Hohen- 
zollern Hechingen in Wlirtemburg by public decree pro- 
mised five florins reward to any one bringing in, dead or 
alive, a goblin, nixy, or other spook of the kind ! 

1 8 1. Religion of the Troubadours. Troubadours and Albi- 
genses drew closer together in persecution ; their friendship 
increased in the school of sorrow. They sang and fought 
for one another, and their songs expired on the blazing piles; 
wherefore it appears reasonable to consider the troubadours 
as the organisers of that vast conspiracy directed against the 
Church of Rome, the champions of a revolt which had not 
for its guide and object material interests and vulgar ambi- 
tion, but a religion and a polity of love. Here love is con- 
sidered, not as an affection which all more or less experience 
and understand, but as an art, a science, acquired by means 
of the study and practice of sectarian rites and laws ; and 
the artists under various names appear scattered throughout 
many parts of Europe. It is difficult, indeed, to determine 
the boundaries within which the Gay Science was diffused. 
The singers of love are met with as the troubadours of the 
Langue d'Oc and the Langue d'Oui, the minnesangers and 

182. Difficulty to understand the Troubadours. The singers 
of Provence whose language was by the Popes called the 
language of heresy are nearly unintelligible to us, and we 
know not how to justify the praises bestowed upon their 
poetry by such men as Dante, Petrarch, Chaucer ; nor dare 
we, since we do not understand their verses, call their inspi- 
ration madness, nor deny them the success they undoubtedly 
achieved. It appears more easy and natural to think that 
those free champions of a heresy who were not permitted 
clearly to express their ideas, preferred the obscure turns of 
poetry and light forms that concealed their thoughts, as the 
sumptuous and festive courts of love perhaps concealed 
the "Lodges" of the Albigenses from the eye of the Papal 
Inquisition. The same was done for political purposes at 
various periods. Thus we have Gringore's La Chasse du Cerf 
des Cerfs (a pun designating Pope Julius II., by allusion to- 


the servus servorum\ in which that Pope is held up to 
ridicule. But some of the troubadours, such, for instance, 
as Walther von der Vogelweide, d. 1228, and Peter Cardinal, 
d. 1 306, sang openly against the abuses of the Church and 
the corrupt lives of the clergy. 

183. Poetry of Troubadours. Arnaldo Daniello was obscure 
even for his contemporaries; according to the Monk of Mont- 
audon, " no one understands his songs," and yet Dante and 
Petrarch praise him above every other Provencal poet, call- 
ing him the "great Master of Love," perhaps a title of sec- 
tarian dignity, and extolling his style, which they would not 
have done had they not been able to decipher his meaning. 
The effusions of the troubadours were always addressed to 
some lady, though they dared not reveal her name ; what 
Hugo de Brunet says applies to all : " If I be asked to 
whom my songs are addressed, I keep it a secret. I pre- 
tend to such a one, but it is nothing of the kind." The mis- 
tress invoked, there can be no doubt, like Dante's Beatrice, 
was the purified religion of love, personified as the Virgin 

184. Degrees among Troubadours. There were four de- 
grees, but the "Romance of the Rose" divides them into 
four and three, producing again the mystic number seven. 
This poem describes a castle, surrounded with a sevenfold 
wall, which is covered with emblematical figures, and no one 
was admitted into the castle that could not explain their 
mysterious meaning. The troubadours also had their secret 
signs of recognition, and the " minstrels " are supposed to 
have been so called because they were the " ministers " of a 
secret worship. 

185. Courts of Love. I have already alluded to these; 
they probably gave rise to the Lodges of Adoption, the 
Knights and Nymphs of the Rose, &c. The degrees pro- 
nounced therein with pedantic proceedings, literally inter- 
preted, are frivolous or immoral, and therefore incompatible 
with the morals and manners of the Albigenses, which were 
on the whole pure and austere. The Courts of Love may 
therefore have concealed far sterner objects than the decision 
of questions of mere gallantry ; and it is noticeable that these 
courts, as well as the race of troubadours, became extinct 
with the extinction of the Albigenses by the sword of De 
Montfort and the faggots of the Inquisition. 

VOL. I. 



"Chivalry was more a spirit than an institution . . . the ceremonial was 
merely the public declaration that he on whom the order was conferred 
was worthy to exercise the powers with which it invested him ; but still, 
the spirit was the chivalry." JAMES'S History of Chivalry. 


1 86. Original Aim. An idea of conservation and pro- 
pagandism produced the association of the San Greiil, whose 
members professed to be in search of the vase of truth, 
which once contained the blood of the Redeemer ; or, to 
leave metaphorical language, to bring back the Christian 
Church to apostolic times, to the true observance of the 
precepts of the gospel. At the Round Table, a perfect 
figure, which admitted neither of first nor of last, sat the 
Knights, who did not attain to that rank and distinction 
but after many severe trials. Their degrees at first were 
three, which were afterwards raised to seven, and finally, at 
the epoch of their presumed fusion with the Albigenses, 
Templars, and Ghibellines, to thirty -three. The chief grades, 
however, may be said to have been I. Page; 2. Squire; 
3. Knight, and the three chief military orders of those days 
were the Templars, the Knights Hospitallers of St. John 
of Jerusalem, who afterwards were called the Knights of 
Rhodes, and lastly the Knights of Malta ; and thirdly, the 
order of Teutonic Knights. 

1 87. Knights the Military Apostles of the Religion of Love. 
This association was above all a proud family of apostles 
and missionaries of the Religion of Love, military trouba- 
dours, who, under the standards of justice and right, fought 
against the monstrous abuses of the Theocratic regime, con- 
soled the " widow " perhaps the Gnostic Church protected 
the "sons of the widow" the followers of Manes and 
overthrew giants and dragons, inquisitors and churchmen. 
The powerful voice of the furious Roland, which made 
breaches in the granite rocks of the mountains, is the voice 
of that so-called heresy which found its way into Spain, thus 
anticipating the saying of Louis XIV., "There are no longer 
any Pyrenees." This may seem a startling assertion, but 
it is nevertheless true. Of course I do not now speak of 
the chivalry of feudal times, but of that which existed even 



before the eleventh century, that issued from the womb of 
Manichseism and Catharism, and was altogether hostile to 
Rome. But even at that period the Papal Church acted on 
the principle afterwards so fully carried out by the Jesuits r 
of directing what they could not suppress ; and having 
nothing more to fear than spiritualism, whether mystical, 
Platonic, or chivalric, Rome, instead of opposing its current, 
cunningly turned it into channels where, instead of being 
destructive to the Papacy, it became of infinite advantage 
to it. 

1 88. Tenets and Doctrines. Those who composed the 
romances of the Round Table and the San Greal were well 
acquainted with the Gallic triads, the mysteries of the theo- 
logical doctrines of the Bards and Celtic myths. These 
romances have their origin in the phenomena of the natural 
world, and the San Greal is only a diminutive Noah's Ark. 
From Chaucer's "Testament of Love," which seems founded 
on the " Consolation of Philosophy " by Boethius, it has been 
supposed that the love of chivalry was the love of woman, 
in its highest, noblest, and most spiritualised aspect. But 
the lady-love of the knight in the early period of chivalry 
was the Virgin Sophia, or philosophy personified. The 
phraseology employed in the rites of initiation, the religious 
vows taken on that occasion, the tonsure to which the 
knights submitted, with many other circumstances, suffi- 
ciently indicate that the love so constantly spoken of has 
no reference to earthly love. This applies especially to the 
knights who may be called Voluntary Knights, and whose 
charter is the curious book called " Las Siete Partidas," 
by Alfonso XL, king of Castile and Leon. Their statutes 
greatly resembled those of the Templars and Hospitallers ; 
they were more than any other a religious order ; bound to 
very strict lives ; their clothes were of three colours, and 
strange coincidence analogous with those with which Dante 
beheld Beatrice clothed, and the three circles he describes 
towards the end of "Paradise." They had two meals a day, 
and drank only water, a regimen scarcely fit for a militia 
whose duties were not always spiritual; for, besides their 
special duties, they were also subject to all the rules of 
chivalry, and bound to protect the weak against the strong, 
to restore peace where it had been disturbed, to serve their 
body (the Lodge), and protect the (evangelical) religion. 
They are said to have branded their right arms in sign of 
their fraternity; but this is perhaps only a figure of the 
baptism of fire and the Spirit, one of the most essential 


rites of the Religion of Love. A green glass vase, said to 
be the original San Greal, is preserved in the cathedral of 
Genoa, and considered so valuable that it requires a special 
permission from the municipality to see it. It was "by 
authority " said to be cut out of a gigantic emerald ; but the 
ungodly French, who during the rule of the first Napoleon 
had carried it to Paris, chemically tested, and proved it, as 
stated above, to be only green glass. 



189. Foundation of the Order. It was founded in 1118, 
partly on a more ancient order, as would appear from a 
MS. in the library of the Louvre, entitled Hostes sur les 
Freres Mages ecristes par un ContemporoAn des Chevaliers 
Templiers qui en estes. In the above year nine valiant and 
pious knights formed themselves into an association which 
united the characters of the monk and the knight. They 
selected for their patroness " La douce Mere de Dieu" and 
bound themselves to live according to the rules of St. Augus- 
tine, swearing to consecrate their swords, arms, strength, 
and lives to the defence of the mysteries of the Christian 
faith; to pay absolute obedience to the Grand Master; to 
encounter the dangers of the seas and of war, whenever 
commanded, and for the love of Christ ; and even when 
opposed singly to three infidel foes not to retreat, They 
also took upon themselves the vows of chastity and poverty, 
promised not to go over to any other Order, nor to surrender 
any wall or foot of land. King Baldwin II. assigned them 
a portion of his palace, and, as it stood near the Church of 
the Temple, the abbot gave them a street leading from it 
to the palace, and hence they styled themselves " Soldiery 
of the Temple " (militia templi). 

190. Progress of the Order. The first nine years which 
elapsed after the institution of the Order, the Templars 
lived in great poverty; Hugh des Payens and Godfrey of 
St. Omer, the founders, had but one war-horse between 
them, a fact commemorated on the seal of the Order, which 
represents two knights seated on one charger. Soon after, 
Pope Honorius confirmed the Order, and appointed a white 
mantle to which Eugenius III. affixed a red cross on the 
breast to be the distinguishing dress of the Templars. 
The Order also assumed a banner formed of cloth, striped 
white and black, called Beauseant l (in old French a piebald 

1 Preserved in the Scotch dialect, with its original meaning, in the form 
fawsent or bawson. 



horse), which word became the battle-cry of the knights. 
The banner bore a cross and the inscription, " Non nobis, 
Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam" Thenceforth many 
knights joined the Order, and numerous powerful princes 
bestowed considerable possessions upon it. Alfonso, king 
of Arragon and Navarre, even appointed the Templars his 
heirs, though the country refused to ratify the bequest. 
Thus they became the richest proprietors in Europe, until 
they possessed about nine thousand commanderies, situated 
in various countries of Europe and in Palestine, with an 
annual rental of one hundred and twelve million francs. 

191. Account of Commanderies. Their commanderies were 
situate in their eastern and western provinces, the former 
embracing Jerusalem, Tripoli, Antioch, Cyprus ; the latter, 
Portugal, Castile and Leon, Arragon, France, including 
Flanders and the Netherlands, England, Scotland, Ireland, 
Germany, Italy, and Sicily. Whilst Jerusalem was in the 
hands of the Christians, the chief seat of the Templars was 
in that city ; afterwards it was transferred to Paris, where 
they erected the large building until lately known as the 
Temple. It was in this building that Philip the Fair took 
refuge on the occasion of a riot which took place in 1306, 
where the Templars protected him until the fury of the 
people had calmed down. The Knights, it is said, incau- 
tiously displayed to the royal cupidity their immense 
treasures. On a subsequent, but far more momentous rising, 
the pile which served an ungrateful king for an asylum 
became the prison of an unfortunate successor. Recently 
this memento of royal perfidy, and of an avenging fate that 
struck the innocent, has been levelled to the ground. 

192. Imputations against the Order. Towards the end of 
the twelfth century the Order counted about thirty thousand 
members, mostly French, and the Grand Master was generally 
chosen from among the French. Through the great number 
of their affiliated members they could raise a large army 
in any part of the Eastern world, and their fleet monopolised 
the commerce of the Levant. Hence they departed from 
their original humility and piety. Palestine was lost, and 
they made no effort to recover it, but frequently drew the 
sword which was only to be used in the service of God, as 
they understood the phrase in the feuds and warfares of 
the countries they inhabited. They became proud and arro- 
gant. When dying, Richard Cceur de Lion said, "I leave 
avarice to the Cistercian monks, luxuriousness to the begging 
friars, pride to the Templars ; " and yet perhaps they only 


felt their own power. The English Templars had dared to- 
say to Henry III., " You shall be king as long as you are- 
just ; " portentous words, which supplied matter for medita- 
tion to that Philip of France who, like many other princes, 
wished to be unjust with impunity. In Castile, the Templars, 
Hospitallers, and Knights of St. John combined against the 
king himself. Perhaps they aimed at universal dominion, 
or at the establishment of a Western sovereignty, like the 
Teutonic Knights of Prussia, the Hospitallers in Malta, or 
the Jesuits in Paraguay ? But there is scarcely any ground 
for these imputations, especially the first, considering that 
the members of the Order were scattered all over the earth, 
and might at the utmost have attempted to seize the govern- 
ment of some individual State, as that of Arragon, for in- 
stance, but not to carry out a scheme for which even the 
forces of Charlemagne had been inadequate. Accusations 
better founded were, that they had disturbed the kingdom of 
Palestine by their rivalry with the Hospitallers ; had con- 
cluded leagues with the infidels ; had made war upon Cyprus- 
and Antiochia ; had dethroned the king of Jerusalem, Henry 
II. ; had devastated Greece and Thrace ; had refused to con- 
tribute to the ransom of St. Louis ; had declared for Arragon 
against Anjou an unpardonable crime in the eyes of France 
with many other accusations. But their greatest crime 
was that of being exceedingly wealthy ; their downfall was 
therefore determined upon. 

193. Plots against the Order. Philip the Fair had spent 
his last sou. The victory of Mons, worse than a defeat, had 
ruined him. He was bound to restore Guyenne, and was on 
the point of losing Flanders. Normandy had risen against a 
tax which he had been obliged to withdraw. The people of 
the capital were so opposed to the government, that it had 
been found necessary to prohibit meetings of more than five 
persons. How was money to be obtained under these cir- 
cumstances ? the Jews could give no more, because all they 
had had been extorted from them by fines, imprisonment, and 
torture. It was necessary to have recourse to some grand 
confiscation, without disgusting the classes on whom the 
royal power relied, and leading them to believe, not that 
booty was aimed at, but the punishment of evil-doers, to the 
greater glory of religion and the triumph of the law. At the 
instigation of Philip the Fair, libels were published against 
the Order of the Knights Templars, in which the most absurd 
charges were made against the members, accusing them of 
heresy, impiety, and worse crimes. G reat weight was attached 


to the statements made against the Templars by two rene- 
gades of the Order, the Florentine Eoffi Dei, and the Prior 
of Montfaucon, which latter, having been condemned by the 
Grand Master to imprisonment for life for his many crimes, 
made his escape and became the accuser of his former 

194. Attentions paid to Grand Master. Bertrand de Got, 
who, by the influence of the French king, had become Pope 
under the title of Clement V., was now urged by the former 
to fulfil the last of the five conditions on which the king had 
enabled him to ascend the chair of St. Peter. The first four 
conditions had been named, but Philip had reserved the 
naming of the fifth till the fit moment should arrive ; and 
from his subsequent conduct there can be no doubt that the 
destruction of the Order of the Temple was the condition 
that was in the king's mind when he thus alluded to it. The 
first step was to get the Grand Master, James de Molay, into 
his power. At the request of the Pope that he would come 
to France to concert measures for the recovery of the Holy 
Land, he left Cyprus and came to Paris in 1307, accompanied 
by sixty knights, and bringing with him 1 50,000 florins of 
gold, and so much silver that it formed the lading of twelve 
horses, which he deposited in the Temple in that city. To 
lull him into false security, the king, whose plan was not yet 
quite ripe for execution, treated the Grand Master with the 
greatest consideration, made him the godfather of one of his 
sons, and chose him with some of the most distinguished 
persons to carry the pall at the funeral of his sister-in-law. 
The following day he was arrested with all his suite, and 
letters having in the meantime been sent to the king's 
officers in the provinces on the 1 3th October 1307 to seize 
upon all the Templars, their houses and property, throughout 
the kingdom, many thousand members of the Order, knights 
and serving brothers, were thus made prisoners. 

195. Char yes against the Templars. The Templars were 
accused of denying Christ, the Virgin, and the Saints, and 
of spitting and trampling on the cross ; of worshipping in 
a dark cave an idol in the figure of a man covered with 
an old human skin, and having two bright and lustrous 
carbuncles for eyes ; of anointing it with the fat of young 
children roasted ; of looking upon it as their sovereign God ; 
of worshipping the devil in the form of a cat ; of burning 
the bodies of dead Templars and giving the ashes to the 
younger brethren to eat and drink mingled with their food. 
They were charged with various unnatural crimes, frightful 


debaucheries, and superstitious abominations, such as only 
madmen could have been guilty of, and as could only be 
thought of in an age of frightful ignorance, stupidity, and 
superstition. To make them confess these crimes they were 
put to the torture, not only in France, but also in England, 
for Edward II. leagued with Philip to destroy the Order. 
Many knights in the agonies of the torture confessed to 
the crimes they were charged with, hundreds expired under 
it without making any confession, many starved or killed 
themselves in other ways in prison. The trial was pro- 
tracted for years ; the persecution extended to other countries ; 
in Germany and Spain and Cyprus the Order was acquitted 
of all guilt ; in Italy, England, and France, however, their 
doom was sealed, though for a moment there seemed a 
chance of their escaping, for the Pope, seeing that Philip 
and Edward had seized all the money and estates of the 
Templars, and seemed inclined to deprive him of his share 
of the spoil, began to side with the Order. But on some 
concessions being made to him by the two kings, he again 
supported them, though in the end we find him complain- 
ing of the small share of the booty that came into his hands. 

196. Burning of Knights. The tedious progress of the 
sham trial was occasionally enlivened by the public execution 
of knights who refused to acknowledge crimes of which 
they were not guilty. Fifty-nine gallant knights were led 
forth in one day to the fields at the back of the nunnery of 
St. Antoine, where stakes had been driven into the ground, 
and faggots and charcoal collected. The knights were offered 
pardon if they would confess ; but they all refused and were 
burned by slow fires that is, clear charcoal fires. At Senlis 
nine were burned, and many more in other places. On all 
these occasions, as well as in the awful scenes of the torture- 
chamber, the Dominican friars were the mocking witnesses. 

197. James de Molay. The Grand Master remained in 
prison five years and a half, and there is no doubt that 
he was repeatedly put to the torture. The confession he 
was said to have made was probably a forgery. Finally, 
on the 1 8th March 1313, he and Guy, the Grand Preceptor 
of the Order, were burnt by a slow fire on a small island 
in the Seine, between the royal gardens and the church of 
the Hermit Brethren, where afterwards the statue of Henry 
IY. was erected, both to the last moment asserting the 
innocence of the Order. 

198. Mysteries of the Knights Templars. Without laying 
too much stress on confessions extorted by violence, or de- 


nunciations proceeding from revenge, cupidity, and servility, 
it is manifest that the Templars, in their ordinances, creed, 
and rites, had something which was peculiar and secret, and 
totally different from the statutes, opinions, and ceremonies 
of other religio-military associations. Their long sojourn in 
the East, in that dangerous Palestine which overflowed 
with schismatic Greeks and heretics, who, driven from 
Constantinople, took refuge with the Arabs ; their rivalry 
with the Hospitallers ; their contact with the Saracen 
element ; finally, the loss of the Holy Land, which injured 
them in the opinion of the world, and rendered their lives 
idle all these and many other circumstances would act on 
this institution in an unforeseen manner, differing from the 
tendencies of the original constitution, and mix up therewith 
ideas and practices little in accordance with, nay, in total 
antagonism to, the orthodox thought that had originated, 
animated, and strengthened this military brotherhood. 

199. The Temple and the Church. The very name may 
in a certain manner point to a rebellious ambition. Temple 
is a more august, a vaster and more comprehensive deno- 
mination than that of Church. The Temple is above the 
Church; this latter has a date of its foundation, a local 
habitation ; the former has always existed. Churches fall ; 
the Temple remains as a symbol of the parentage of re- 
ligions and the perpetuity of their spirit. The Templars 
might thus consider themselves as the priests of that re- 
ligion, not transitory, but permanent; and the aspirants 
could believe that the Order constituting them the defenders 
of the Temple intended to initiate them into a second and 
better Christianity, into a purer religion. Whilst the Temple 
meant for the Christian the Holy Sepulchre, it recalled to 
the Mussulman the Temple of Solomon ; and the legend 
which referred to this latter served as a bond to the rituals 
of the Freemasons and other secret societies. Further, the 
Church might be called the house of Christ ; but the Temple 
was the house of the Holy Spirit. It was that religion of the 
Spirit which the Templars inherited from the Manichseans, 
from the Albigenses, from the sectarian chivalry that had pre- 
ceded them. The initiatory practices, the monuments, even 
the trial, showed this prevalence of the religion of the Spirit 
in the secret doctrines of the Temple. The Templars drew 
a great portion of their sectarian and heterodox tendencies 
from that period in which chivalry, purified and organised, 
became a pilgrimage in search of the San Greal, the mystic 
cup that received the blood of the Saviour ; from that epoch 


in which the East, in invasions, armed and unarmed, with 
the science of the Arabs, with poetry and heresies, had 
turned upon the West. 

200. Initiation. Much has been said about the mode of 
initiation that it took place at night in the chapel, in the 
presence of the chapter, all strangers being strictly excluded ; 
that licentious rites attended it, and that the candidate was 
compelled to deny, curse, and spit upon the cross that cross 
for which they had shed so much of their own blood, sacri- 
ficed so many of their own lives. We have seen that this 
was one of the chief accusations brought against the Order. 
Was there any truth in it ? It seems most probable there 
was ; but the practice may be explained as in the following 

20 1. Cursing and Spitting on the Cross Explained. Such 
a practice need not surprise us in an age in which churches 
were turned into theatres, in which sacred things were pro- 
faned by grotesque representations, in which the ancient 
mysteries were reproduced to do honour, in their way, to 
Christ and the saints. The reader may also bear in mind 
the extraordinary scenes afterwards represented in the 
Miracle Plays. Now the aspirant to the Templar degree 
was at first introduced as a sinner, a bad Christian, a rene- 
gade. He denied, in fact, after the manner of St. Peter, 
and the renunciation was frequently expressed by the odious 
act of spitting on the cross. The fraternity undertook to 
restore this renegade, to raise him all the higher the greater 
his fall had been. Thus at the Festival of the Idiots, the 
candidate presented himself, as it were, in a state of imbe- 
cility and of degradation, to be regenerated by the Church. 
These comedies, rightly understood at first, were in course 
of time falsely interpreted, scandalising the faithful, who 
had lost the key of the enigma. The Templars had adopted 
similar ceremonies. They were scions of the Cathari (175) 
and Manichaeans. Now the Cathari despised the cross ( 1 76), 
and considered it meritorious to tread it under foot. But with 
the Templars this ceremony was symbolical, as was abun- 
dantly proved during their trial, and had indeed reference 
to Peter's thrice-repeated denial of Christ. 

202. Charge of Licentious Practices. As to licentious rites, 
if any such ever were practised, they were confined to certain 
localities and certain degrees of initiation ; for it appeared 
at the trials that many knights had never even heard of the 
practices they were charged with ; that they had never seen 
the bust of the Baphomet ; that they had never been invited 


or asked to take part in licentious or blasphemous rites. If 
certain members of the Order were cognisant of, and parti- 
cipated in such, their offences were individual offences, and 
not crimes which the Order and its teaching could be 
reproached with. Unnatural crimes, however, were so com- 
mon in the days of the Templars that they might safely be 
charged with them, without at once raising a cry of indigna- 
tion, and a sense of incredulity at the mere accusation itself ; 
for in the age of the Templars it was customary on the 
election of a bishop to insist on the candidate swearing that 
he was not guilty of sodomy, seducing nuns, or bestiality ! 
Had these vices not been very common, every honest man 
would at once have exclaimed, Nolo episcopari ! All the 
charges brought against the Templars had been previously 
made against the Cathari, the Albigenses, and against the 
Hospitallers ; and Clement, in a bull dated but four days after 
that of the suppression, acknowledged that the whole of the 
evidence against the Order amounted only to suspicion. 

203. The Templars the, Opponents of the Pope. But there 
may have been another and special reason for introducing 
this ceremony, and ever keeping the treachery of Peter 
before the minds of the members of the Order. We have 
seen that the Templars, during and in consequence of their 
sojourn in the East, attached themselves to the doctrines of 
the Gnostics and Manichaeans as is sufficiently attested, 
were other proofs wanting, by the Gnostic and Cabalistic 
symbols discovered in and on the tombs of Knights Templars, 
which appeared to them less perverted than those of the 
priest of Rome. They also knew the bad success the pro- 
clamation of Christ's death on the cross had had at Athens, 
in consequence of ^Eschylus' tragedy, "Prometheus Vinctus," 
wherein Oceanus denied his friend, when God made him the 
sacrifice for the sins of mankind, just as Peter, who lived by 
the ocean, did with regard to Christ. The Templars, there- 
fore, came to the conclusion that all these gods, descended 
from the same origin, were only religious and poetic figures 
of the sun ; and seeing the bad use made of the doctrines 
connected therewith by the clergy, they renounced St. Peter, 
and became Johannites, or followers of St. John. There was 
thus a secret schism, and according to some writers, it was 
this, together with the opposition to Roman Catholicism 
which it implied, as well as their great wealth, which was 
among the causes of their condemnation by the court of 

204. Baphomet. The above explanation may also afford 


a clue to the meaning and name of the idol the Templars were 
accused of worshipping. This idol represented a man with 
a long white beard, and the name given to it was Baphomet, 
a name which has exercised the ingenuity of many critics, 
but the only conclusions arrived at by any of them as to the 
meaning of the name, and deserving consideration, is that of 
Nicolai, who assumed that it is composed of the words fta(f>rj 
fj,r]Tis, the "baptism of wisdom," and that the image repre- 
sented God, the universal Father. As to the meaning of the 
head itself, we have already referred to the Gnostic and 
Cabalistic doctrines and symbols adopted by the Templars 
(198), and the head worshipped by them certainly was one 
of these symbols. We know that the Cabalists represented 
God in abstracto by a head without a beard, whilst the crea- 
tive God was represented by a bearded head. The former 
symbolised unchangeableness, the latter the constant growth 
seen in the world. To the Templars the bust was the One 
God; when it was shown to the initiated, the hierophant 
pronounced the Arabic word yalla (corrupted from yh alia), 
the " Light of God," and the new member was addressed 
as a " friend of God." But a denial of the Trinity in those 
days involved racks and faggots ; hence it became sufficiently 
plain why the secret was looked upon as inviolable, and was 
so well kept by the Templars that we can only conjecture its 

205. Disposal of the Possessions of the Templars. The Order 
having been suppressed by a Papal bull, dated 6th May 1312, 
the king and the Pope converted to their own use the movable 
property of the Order under their respective jurisdictions, the 
king keeping, as we have seen, the lion's share. Its other 
possessions in France and Italy were, sorely against the will 
of the king, assigned to the Order of the Hospitallers, who 
were, however, obliged to pay such large fines to the king and 
Pope as completely impoverished them for the time. A 
portion of their German estates was assigned to the Teutonic 
Knights ; the Spanish possessions of the Templars, consist- 
ing of seventeen towns and castles, were secured by the 
king for the foundation of the Order of Our Lady of Mon- 
tesa, whose object was as barbarous as any Christian Pope or 
king could devise, namely, to combat the Moors ; and the 
king of Portugal, who did not violently suppress the Order, 
made it change its name to that of the Order of Christ, which 
exists to this day, and, since 1789, consists of three classes: 
Grand-Cross, Commander, and Knight. 



" All through the Middle Ages justice was no such secret to the people 
as it is at the present time, when it is buried under piles of law papers." 


VOL. I. 


206. Origin and Object of Institution. In this book we are 
introduced to an order of secret societies altogether different 
from preceding ones. Hitherto they were religious or mili- 
tary in their leading features ; but those we are now about 
to give an account of were judicial in their operations, and 
the first of them, the Holy Vehm, or secret tribunals of 
Westphalia, arose during the period of violence and anarchy 
that distracted the German empire after the outlawry of 
Henry the Lion, somewhere about the middle of the thir- 
teenth century. The supreme authority of the Emperor had 
lost all influence in the country ; the imperial assizes were 
no longer held ; might and violence took the place of right 
and justice ; the feudal lords tyrannised over the people ; 
whosoever dared, could. To seize the guilty, whoever they 
might be, to punish them before they were aware of the 
blow with which they were threatened, and thus to secure 
the chastisement of crime such was the object of the West- 
phalian judges, and thus the existence of this secret society, 
the instrument of public vengeance, is amply justified, and 
the popular respect it enjoyed, and on which alone rested its 
authority, explained. 

207. Places for Holding Courts. Eomance writers have 
surrounded the Vehm with darkness, mystery, and awe, but 
sober history shows the institution to have been, before the 
date of its corruption, the fairest, and perhaps the only fair 
tribunal in the country where it existed, and that its only 
secrecy consisted in the justice and rapidity with which it 
discovered crime and executed its sentences. As to its 
meetings, they were not usually held in subterranean vaults 
or dimly lighted caves, but more frequently in the open air ; 
at Nordkirchen the court was held in the churchyard ; at 
Dortmund in the market-place. The favourite place for 
holding the courts was near or under trees ; nor were they 



held at night, bat in the morning, soon after the break of 

208. Officers and Organisations. The Westphalia of that 
period comprehended the country between the Rhine and the 
Weser ; its southern boundary was formed by the mountains 
of Hesse, its northern by Friesland. Vehm or Felim is, 
according to Leibnitz, derived from/ama, as the law founded 
on common fame. But fern is an old German word, signify- 
ing condemnation, which may be the proper radix of Vehm. 
But the old German word Fehm also meant "company," 
" society," "separation," ''something set apart;" thus pigs 
put apart for the purpose of fattening were called fehm-pigs 
(Fehmschweine) ; the mark that was set on them to distin- 
guish them was called the fehm-sign (FeJimmahl). The 
word Vehm having this general meaning, we may under- 
stand how the society of Free Judges, to distinguish it 
above other associations, acquired the epithet of "holy." 
The courts were also called Fehmding, Freistuhle, "free 
courts," heimliche Gerichte, Jieimliclie Achten, heimliche be- 
schlossene Achten, "secret courts," "free bann," and verbotene 
Gerichte, "prohibited courts." No rank of life prohibited 
a person from the right of being initiated, and in a Vehmic 
code discovered at Dortmund, and whose reading was for- 
bidden to the profane under pain of death, three degrees are 
mentioned : the affiliated of the first were called Stuhlherren,. 
"lords justices;" those of the second, Schoppen (scdbini, 
e'chevins) ; those of the third, Frohnboten, " messengers." 
Two courts were held, an offenbares Ding, " open court," and 
the heimliche Acht, " secret court." Any uninitiated person 
found in the "secret court" was invariaby hanged lest he 
might warn the accused, condemned in contumaciam, of the 
sentence passed upon him. The members were called Wis- 
sende, "the knowing ones," or the initiated. The clergy, 
women and children, Jews and heathens, and as it would 
appear the higher nobility, were exempt from its jurisdic- 
tion. The courts took cognisance of all offences against the 
Christian faith, the Gospel, and the Ten Commandments. 

209. Language and Rules of Initiated. The initiated had 
a secret language ; at least we may infer so from the initials 
S. S. S. G. G., found in Vehmic writings preserved in 
the archives of Herfort, in Westphalia, that have puzzled 
the learned, and by some are explained as meaning Stock, 
Stein, Stride, Gras, Grein stick, stone, cord, grass, woe. At 
meals the members are said to have recognised each other 
by turning the points of their knives towards the edge, and 


the points of their forks towards the centre, of the table. A 
horrible death was prepared for a false brother, and the 
oaths to be taken were as fearful as some prescribed in the 
higher degrees of Freemasonry. The affiliated promised, 
among other things, to preserve the secret Vehm before any- 
thing that is illumined by the sun or bathed by rain, or to be 
found between heaven and earth ; not to inform any one of 
the sentence passed against him ; and to denounce, if neces- 
sary, his parents and relations, calling down upon himself, 
in case of perjury, the malediction of all, and the punishment 
of being hanged seven feet higher than all others. One form 
of oath, contained in the archives of Dortmund, and which 
the candidate had to pronounce kneeling, his head uncovered, 
and holding the fore-finger and the middle finger of his right 
hand upon the sword of the president, runs thus : "I swear 
perpetual devotion to the secret tribunal ; to defend it 
against myself, against water, sun, moon, and stars, the 
leaves of the trees, all living beings ; to uphold its judg- 
ments and promote their execution. I promise, moreover, 
that neither pain, nor money, nor parents, nor anything 
created by God shall render me perjured." 

210. Procedure. The first act of the procedure of the 
Vehm was the accusation, made by a Freischoppe. The 
person was then cited to appear ; if not initiated, before 
the open court, and woe to the disobedient! The accused 
that belonged to the Order was at once condemned ; and the 
case of the unaffiliated was transferred to the secret tribunal. 
A summons was to be written on parchment, and sealed with 
at least seven seals ; six weeks and three days were allowed 
for the first, six weeks for the second, and six weeks and 
three days for the third. When the residence of the accused 
was not known, the summons was exhibited at a cross-road 
of his supposed county, or placed at the foot of the statue of 
some saint or affixed to the poor-box, not far from some 
crucifix or humble wayside chapel. If the accused was a 
knight, dwelling in his fortified castle, the Schoppen were to 
introduce themselves at night, under any pretence, into the 
most secret chamber of the building and do their errand. 
But sometimes it was considered sufficient to affix the 
summons, and the coin that always accompanied it, to the 
gate, to inform the sentinel of the fact that the citation had 
been left, and to cut three chips from the gate, to be taken 
to the Freigraf as proofs. If the accused appeared to none 
of the summonses, he was sentenced in contumacia, accord- 
ing to the laws laid down in the "Mirror of Saxony;" the 


accuser had to bring forward seven witnesses, not to the fact 
charged against the absent person, but to testify to the well- 
kiiown veracity of the accuser, whereupon the charge was 
considered as proved, and the Imperial ban was pronounced 
against the accused, which was followed by speedy execution. 
The sentence was one of outlawry, degradation, and death ; 
the neck of the convict was condemned to the halter, and 
his body to the birds and wild beasts ; his goods and estates 
were declared forfeited, his wife a widow, and his children 
orphans. He was declared fehmbar, i.e., punishable by the 
Vehm, and any three initiated that met with him were at 
liberty, nay, enjoined, to hang him on the nearest tree. If 
the accused appeared before the court, which was presided 
over by a count, who had on the table before him a naked 
sword and a withy halter, he, as well as his accuser, could 
each bring thirty friends as witnesses, and be represented 
by their attorneys, and also had the right of appeal to the 
general chapter of the secret closed tribunal of the Imperial 
chamber, generally held at Dortmund. When sentence was 
once definitively spoken for death, the culprit was hanged 

211. Execution of Sentences. Those condemned in their 
absence, and who were pursued by at least a hundred thou- 
sand persons, were generally unaware of the fact. Every 
information thereof conveyed to them was high treason, 
punishable by death ; the Emperor alone was excepted 
from the law of secrecy; merely to hint that "good bread 
might be eaten elsewhere," rendered the speaker liable to 
death for betraying the secret. After the condemnation of 
the accused a document bearing the seal of the count was 
given to the accuser, to be used by him when claiming the 
assistance of other members to carry out the sentence ; and 
all the initiated were bound to grant him theirs, were it 
even against their own parents. A knife was stuck in the 
tree on which the person had been hanged, to indicate that 
he had suffered death at the hands of the Holy Vehm. If 
the victim resisted, he was slain with daggers; but the 
slayer left his weapon in the wound to convey the same 

212. Decay of the Institution. These secret tribunals 
inspired such terror that the citation by a Westphalian free 
count was even more dreaded than that of the Emperor. In 
1470 three free counts summoned the Emperor himself to 
appear before them, threatening him with the usual course 
in case of contumacy ; the Emperor did not appear, but 


pocketed the affront. By the admission of improper per- 
sons, and the abuse of the right of citation, the institution 
which in its time had been a corrective of public injustice 
gradually degenerated. The tribunals were, indeed, reformed 
by Rupert ; and the Arensberg reformation and Osnaburgh 
regulations modified some of the greatest abuses, and re- 
stricted the power of the Vehm. Still it continued to exist, 
and was never formally abolished. But the excellent civil 
institutions of Maximilian and of Charles V., the consequent 
decrease of the turbulent and anarchic spirit, the introduc- 
tion of the Roman law, the spread of the Protestant religion, 
conspired to give men an aversion for what appeared now 
to be a barbarous jurisdiction. Some of the courts were 
abolished, exemptions and privileges against them multi- 
plied, and they were prohibited all summary proceedings. 
The last Vehm court was held at Celle in 1568. But a 
shadow of them remained, and it was not till French legis- 
lation, in 181 1, abolished the last free court at Gemen, in the 
county of Miinster, that they may be said to have ceased to 
exist. But it is not many years since that certain citizens in 
that locality assembled every year, boasting of their descent 
from the ancient free judges. 

213. Kissing the Virgin. There is a tradition that one of 
the methods of putting to death persons condemned to that 
fate by the secret tribunals was the following : The victim 
was told to go and kiss the statue of the Virgin which stood 
in a subterranean vault. The statue was of bronze and of 
gigantic size. On approaching it, so as to touch it, its front 
opened with folding doors, and displayed its interior set full 
with sharp and long spikes and pointed blades. The doors 
were similarly armed, and on each, about the height of a 
man's head, was a spike longer than the rest, the two spikes 
being intended when the doors were shut to enter the eyes 
and destroy them. The doors having thus opened, the 
victim by a secret mechanism was drawn or pushed into the 
dreadful statue, and the doors closed upon him. There he 
was cut and hacked by the knives and spikes, and in about 
half a minute the floor on which he stood which was in 
reality a trap-door opened, and allowed him to fall through. 
But more horrible torture awaited him ; for underneath the 
trap-door were six large wooden cylinders, disposed in pairs 
one below the other. There were thus three pairs. The 
cylinders were furnished all round with sharp blades ; the 
distance between the uppermost pair of parallel cylinders 
was such that a human body could just lie between them ; 


the middle pair was closer together, and the lowest very 
close. Beneath this horrible apparatus was an opening in 
which could be heard the rushing of water. The mechanism 
that opened the doors of the statue also set in motion the 
cylinders, which turned towards the inside. Hence when the 
victim, already fearfully mangled and blinded, fell through 
the trap-door, he fell between the upper pair of cylinders. 
In this mutilated condition, the quivering mass fell between 
the second and more closely approaching pair of cylinders, 
and was now actually hacked through and through on the 
lowest and closest pair, where it was reduced to small pieces 
which fell into the brook below, and were carried away, 
thus leaving no trace of the awful deed that had been 



214. Character of the Society. The notices of this sect, 
which existed for many years in Sicily, are so scanty that we 
may form a high idea of the mystery in which it shrouded 
itself. It had spread not only over the island, where it 
created traditional terror, but also over Calabria, where it 
was first discovered, and cruelly repressed and punished by 
the feudatories, who saw their power assailed by it. A 
popular institution, in opposition to the daily arrogance of 
baronial or kingly power, it knew not how to restrain itself 
within the prescribed limits, and made itself guilty of repre- 
hensible acts, so that it was spoken of in various ways by its 

215. Tendencies and Tenets. We have already seen that 
it had connections with the Holy Vehm, and its statutes were 
somewhat similar to this tribunal ; but it is to be observed 
that it proceeded from that spiritual movement which pro- 
duced the reaction of the Albigenses, the propaganda of the 
Franciscans, and the reformatory asceticism of the many 
heretics who roamed through Italy and the rest of Europe, 
preaching opposition to Kome, and organising a crusade 
against the fatuous and corrupt clerocracy. Among these 
heretics we must remember the Abbot Gioachimo, whose 
prophecies and strange sayings reappear in the Evangelium 
Sternum of John of Parma, a book which was one of the 
text-books of the Sicilian judges. The Evangelium Sternum, 
a tissue of cabalistic and Gnostic eccentricities, was by the 
Beati Paoli preferred to the Old and New Testaments ; they 
renounced belief in dualism, and made God the creator of 
evil and death of evil, because he placed the mystical apple 
in tbe mystical garden; of death, because he ordained the 
deluge, and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. 

2 1 6. Account of a Sicilian Writer. Amidst the general 
silence of historians, the account of a Sicilian writer, which 
was published only in 1840, and is still generally unknown, 



may be considered the only document concerning this family 
of Avengers, who at the extreme end of Italy reproduced 
the struggles and terrors of the Westphalian tribunals. 
This writer says: "In the year 1185, at the nuptials of 
the Princess Constance, daughter of the first King Roger 
of Sicily, with Henry, afterwards Henry VI., Emperor of 
Germany, there was discovered the existence of a new and 
impious sect, who called themselves the Avengers, and in 
their nocturnal assemblies declared every crime lawful com- 
mitted on pretence of promoting the public good. Of this 
we find an account in an ancient writer, who does not enter 
into further details. The king ordered strict inquiry to be 
made, and their chief, Arinulfo di Ponte Corvo, having been 
arrested, he was sentenced to be hanged with some of his 
most guilty accomplices ; the less guilty were branded with 
a red-hot iron. The belief exists among the vulgar that 
this secret society of Avengers still exists in Sicily and 
elsewhere, and is known by the name of the Beati Paoli. 
Some worthless persons even go so far as to commend the 
impious institution. Its members abounded especially at 
Palermo, and Joseph Amatore, who was hanged on December 
17, 1704, was one of them. Girolarno Ammirata, comptroller 
of accounts, also belonged to this society, and suffered death 
on 27th April 1725. Most came to a bad end, if not by the 
hands of justice, by the daggers of their associates. The 
famous vetturino, Vito Vituzzo of Palermo, was the last of 
the wretches forming the society of the Beati Paoli. He 
escaped the gallows, because he turned in time from his evil 
courses, and thenceforward he passed all day in St. Mat- 
thew's Church, whence he came to be known by the surname 
of ' the church mouse.' The preceptors and masters of these 
vile men were heretics and apostates from the Minor Brethren 
of St. Francis, who pretended that the power of the pontiff 
and the priesthood had been bestowed on them by an angelic 
revelation. The house where they held their meetings is 
still in existence in the street de' Canceddi, and I paid it a 
visit. Through a gatew r ay you pass into a courtyard, under 
which is the vault where the members met, and which re- 
ceives its light through a grating in the stone pavement. 
At the bottom of the stairs is a stone altar, and at the side 
a small dark chamber, with a stone table, on which were 
written the acts and sentences of these murderous judges. 
The principal cave is pretty large, surrounded with stone 
seats, and furnished with niches and recesses where the arms 
were kept. The meetings were held at night by candle- 


light. The derivation of the name, the Beati Paoli (Blessed 
Pauls), is unknown ; but I surmise that it was adopted by 
the sect, because either the founder's name was Paul, or that 
he assumed it as that of a saint who, before his conversion, 
was a man of the sword, and, imitating him, was, during- 
the day, a Blessed Paul, and at night at the head of a band 
of assassins, like Paul persecuting the Christians." Such is 
the author's account, which I have greatly abbreviated, 
omitting nearly all his invectives against the sect, of which 
very little is known, and whose existence evidently, in its 
day, was to some extent beneficial ; for Sicilians, on suffering 
any injury or loss, for which they cannot apply to justice, are 
often heard to exclaim "Ah, if the Beati Paoli were still 
in being ! " 



217. Introductory. The earth in the Colosseum at Rome 
is said to be soaked with the blood of Christian martyrs. 
Some pope I forget which to convince a heretic, is re- 
ported to have taken up a handful of the earth, squeezed it, 
and caused drops of blood to fall from it. Supposing, for 
argument's sake, the legend and the assertion on which it is 
founded to be true, the Christian Church has well avenged 
her martyrs. To accomplish her ends, the Romish Church 
established the Inquisition. 

2 1 8. Early existence of an Inquisition. From the earliest 
days of Christianity the Inquisition existed in the spirit, if 
notin the form. The wretched pack of controversial wolves, 
the so-called Fathers of the Church, when not flying at one 
another's throats, were ever busy in spewing forth their 
fanatical venom upon all not of their ilk. When Polycarp, 
on being challenged by Marcion, the Gnostic, to "own him," 
replied, "I own thee to be the first-born of Satan," we may 
be certain he would, had he possessed secular power, not have 
been satisfied with giving that polite answer, but would gladly 
have burnt him alive ; and yet the Gnostics were people 
superior in intelligence and morals to the rabble composing 
the early Christians, as even their enemies had to admit. 
When that monster Constantine had made the Christian 
Church all-powerful, heretic baiting began in full earnest. 
One of the first victims was Priscillian, the founder of a 
Gnostic sect in Spain, who, at the instigation of St. Augus- 
tine, was accused of Manichaeism the saint must have known, 
for he had been a Manichasan himself during ten years ! 
Priscillian was executed at Trier in 385. The next five or six 
centuries were too much occupied with war and bloodshed 
and political intrigues to give much attention to heretics ; in 
fact, from the eighth to the eleventh centuries they hardly 
existed. But when, towards the end of the latter century, 

the papal system of Hildebrand attained its full development, 



despotically attempting to control all religious thought, so- 
called heretics arose, and with them their persecution. The 
decision of Pope Urban II. that the murder of an excom- 
municated person was no crime became civil law, as also the 
doctrine of St. Augustine, that the extermination of heretics 
was a duty to the Church and a kindness to the heretic him- 
self. Thomas of Aquinas (1224-1274) adopted the doctrine 
of St. Augustine; the " angelic " teacher expounded the words 
of the apostle, that we ought to avoid a heretic twice ad- 
monished, by saying that the best way to avoid him was to 
burn him. On this principle acted Henry II., king of Eng- 
land, who, together with Louis VII. of France, acted as 
the grooms of Pope Alexander III. on his entering Couci 
(Comes); the English king, who, in the Abbey of Bourg- 
Dieu, was too overawed by the Pope to sit on a chair in his 
presence, but, like a dog, cowered on the floor, this king 
ordered the first execution for heresy in his kingdom by 
having a sect called Publicans or Patari put to death because 
they rejected baptism and submission to the Pope. The 
Patari had arisen in Italy, and spread over the European 
continent, and were so terribly persecuted that at last they 
retaliated ; but the Church was too strong for them, and we 
frequently in the history of those times find notices similar 
to the following : " In this year the Most Reverend Arch- 
bishop William of Rheims, Legate of the Apostolic See, and 
the illustrious Count Philip of Flanders, burnt many heretics 

219. Council held at Toulouse. In May 1163 a council, 
attended by seventeen cardinals, one hundred and twenty- 
four bishops, hundreds of abbots, and priests without number, 
was held at Tours, where the Inquisition, which had, as we 
have seen, existed for centuries in spirit, was put into shape 
and assumed a definite form. " An accursed heresy," said the 
holy speakers, " has recently arisen in the neighbourhood of 
Toulouse, and it is the duty of bishops to put it down with 
all the rigour of the ecclesiastical law. Innocent III., in 1 1 98, 
sent the first two travelling Inquisitors to France, empowered 
to judge heretics, " the foxes called Waldenses, Cathari, and 
Patari, who, though they have different faces, yet all hang 
together by their tails, and are sent by Satan to devastate 
the vineyard of the Lord," which " foxes " were to be caught 
for them by ecclesiastical and secular princes, "to be judged 
and killed," an order which the said princes obeyed with 
such alacrity, that the progress of the two Inquisitors was 
everywhere signalised by the bonfires of burning heretics. 


But these were persecuted not in France only, but wherever 
the power of the popes could reach them, first of all, of 
course, in Italy, where one of the most distinguished victims, 
Arnold of Brescia, had some time before the above-mentioned 
occurrences been strangled in prison, and his body publicly 
burnt at Rome in 1155. His heresy consisted in having 
preached against the crimes of the Papal See. 

220. Establishment of the Inquisition. We have elsewhere 
more particularly spoken of the heretical sects which in the 
tenth to the twelfth century existed in Italy and the south 
of France (168-185). Peter of Castelnau having been sent 
to preach against the Albigenses, was slain by them. As 
soon as his death became known he was canonised, and the 
fourth Council of the Lateran, in 1228, at the instigation 
of Pope Honorius III., sanctioned and organised the Inqui- 
sition, the original idea of which was due to Dominique de 
Guzman, who also founded the order of Dominican friars. 
The Council, or rather the Pope, decreed that all heretics 
should be delivered over to the secular arm and their 
property confiscated. Sovereigns were called upon to drive 
all heretics from their states ; in case of non-obedience, the 
Pope would offer their territory to whosoever could conquer 
them. Persons who had favoured heretics or received them 
into their houses were to be excommunicated and declared 
infamous, incapable of inheriting property, and not entitled 
to Christian burial. Guzman, rightly considering that the 
foul band of preaching friars, whom he had associated with 
himself, were not the sort of people to further his views 
for those men were too fanatical not to be violent, which 
would have been injurious to the new institution further 
organised his " Militia of Christ," a religious police, composed 
of bigoted men and women, belonging to all classes of society, 
even to the highest the head of the house of Medina-Cceli 
down to 1820 enjoyed the high privilege of carrying the 
standard of the Faith in all autos-da-fe, and other solemnities 
of the Inquisition of criminals, as we shall see in the 
account of the " Garduna " (Book IX,) ; of fools and knaves. 
The invisible troop of spies and denouncers, these familiars 
of the Inquisition, as they afterwards called themselves, 
formed the secret portion of the Inquisition, and were 
none the less formidable on that account. From 1233, 
when the Inquisition was established in Spain, to the 
beginning of the next century, it made rapid progress, 
spreading into Italy and Germany. In 1308 the Inqui- 
sition persecuted the Templars a entrance; autos-da-fe", 


" acts of faith," as the burning of heretics was called, shed 
their lurid light over many a Spanish city, at which the royal 
family frequently were present. In 1415 the Inquisition 
burnt John Huss at Constance ; Platina, a papal writer, in 
his " Lives of the Popes " thus pleasantly speaks of it : " In 
the same Council, John Huss and Jerome were burnt, be- 
cause they affirmed, among other errors, that ecclesiastical 
men ought to be poor . . . matters being thus composed," &c. 
Burning your opponents certainly is composing matters ; 
but the author was a Papist. 

221. Progress of Institution. Until the joint reign of 
Ferdinand and Isabella, the Inquisition in Spain had been 
confined to the kingdom of Arragon. But about 1481 the 
queen established it in Castile, and the king gradually 
extended its jurisdiction over all his states. Like James of 
Scotland, the king of Spain always wanted " siller ;" the 
Inquisition offered him a third of all the property it con- 
fiscated, and promised him a large share of the riches of the 
thousands of Jews then living in Spain ; the nobles of Arra- 
gon and Castile were always conspiring against him, the 
Inquisition would quietly amd secretly get hold of their 
persons, and thus rid him of these enemies ; heaven was to 
be gained by putting down heresy ; here surely were reasons 
enough for protecting the Inquisition and investing it with 
full powers. The queen also alas, that it has to be said of 
her ! was greatly in favour of it, and even requested the 
Pope to declare the sentences pronounced in Spain to be final 
and without appeal to Rome. She complained at the same 
time that the people accused her of having no other view in 
establishing the Inquisition than that of sharing with its 
officers the property of those condemned by them. The 
Pope, Sixtus IV., granted everything, and appeased her con- 
scientious scruples as to confiscations. A bull, dated 1483, 
named Father Thomas de Torquemada, an atrocious fanatic, 
Grand Inquisitor of Spain. For eighteen years he held the 
office, condemning on the average ten thousand victims 
annually to death by fire, starvation, torture. In the first six 
months of his sanguinary rule 298 marranos Moors or 
Jews that had been converted to Christianity were burnt 
at the stake in Seville alone, and seventy condemned to im- 
prisonment for life. During the same space of time 2000 
marranos were burnt alive in various other places ; a greater 
number, who had been fortunate enough to make their 
escape before they were seized for when once in the power 
of the terrible tribunal there was little chance of evasion 


were burnt in effigy ; and about 1 7,000 persons, accused on 
the charge of heresy, underwent various other punishments. 
Upwards of 20,000 victims in half a year ! Torquemada 
was so abhorred that he never stirred abroad without being 
surrounded by 250 familiars, and on his table always lay a 
horn of the unicorn, which, according to Moorish superstition, 
was supposed to possess the virtue of discovering and nulli- 
fying the force of poison. His cruelties excited so many 
complaints that the Pope himself was startled, and three 
times Torquemada was obliged to justify his conduct. Dur- 
ing the fifteenth century so many executions took place at 
Seville, that the prefect of that city had the diabolical idea, in 
order to expedite the process, to erect, outside the city, a 
permanent scaffold in stone, on which he placed four gigantic 
statues in plaster, hollow inside, into which New Christians, 
accused of having relapsed into their old faith, were forced, 
and slowly calcined to death, as in a kiln. This scaffold was 
called quemadero (the burner), and the ruins of it could be 
seen as late as the year 1823. 

222. Judicial Procedure of the Inquisition. Before pro- 
ceeding with our historical details, let us briefly state the 
mode of procedure adopted by the execrable tribunal of the 

A denunciation, verbal or in writing, and it little mattered 
from what impure source it proceeded, formed the starting- 
point. Every year, on the third Sunday in Lent, the " Edict 
of Denunciation " was read in the churches, enjoining every 
person, on pain of major excommunication, to reveal within 
six days to the Holy Office, as the Inquisition was now styled, 
facts opposed to the purity of faith that might have come to 
their notice. Denunciation also had its rewards. Plenary 
indulgence was granted by the popes to whoso was good Chris- 
tian enough to denounce his father, son, brother, or other near 
relation. Charles V. relieved every one who had denounced ten 
heretics, or became a familiar of the Inquisition, from all taxa- 
tion and statute labour. And the most trifling acts exposed 
persons to the charge of heresy ; to put a clean cloth on the 
table on a Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, smelled of Judaism ; 
to put on clean linen on a Friday, the Mahometan Sunday, be- 
trayed Mahometanisin. The opinions of Luther, casting horo- 
scopes, eating with Jews, dining or supping with friends on the 
eve of a journey, as the Jews do, these and a hundred other 
things equally innocent might lead to the stake. William 
Franco, a citizen of Seville, whose wife had been seduced by 
a priest, which he dared not resent, having casually observed 


that his wife was in purgatory, this expression was reported 
to the Inquisitors, who thereupon condemned him to im- 
prisonment for life in the cells of the Inquisition. 

The arrests were generally made at night, and the victims 
taken off in a carriage, the wheels of which had tires made 
of leather, whilst the mules, which drew it, were shod with 
buskins, the soles of which consisted of tow between two 
thick pieces of leather, so as to prevent their approach being 
heard. These buskins were an invention of Deza, the 
second Grand Inquisitor. Some of them were found in the 
inquisitorial arsenal at Malaga when its doors were broken 
open in 1820. General Torrijos, who for two years had 
been a prisoner of the Inquisition, and who was treacherously 
shot by order of Ferdinand VII. in 1831, carried off one 
of these buskins. Two others were appropriated by an 
Englishman, a Mr. Thomas Wilkins, of Paddington Place 
(Street ?), London, who as late as the year 1838 would show 
them to his friends. Where are they now ? 

The prisoner having been incarcerated in the dungeons of 
the Inquisition, his property was put under sequestration, 
and the claw of the Holy Office was one which seldom 
released its prey. According to its statutes, indeed, it was 
compelled to release the accused if twelve witnesses, of pure 
Catholic blood, testified in his favour. But it was very 
seldom twelve such witnesses could be brought together, for 
in most cases persons who gave evidence in favour of the 
victims of the Inquisition ran the risk of being themselves 
charged with heresy. 

The prisoner, on his apprehension, was carried to a 
dungeon, generally underground, sometimes at a depth of 
thirty feet. Each cell was about twelve feet by eight, with 
no accommodation but a plank bed, and a utensil, which was 
emptied every three or four days, and sometimes but once in 
a week. From eight to ten prisoners were shut up in such 
a cell when the Holy Office had many victims. They were 
not allowed to make any complaints ; if they did so, they 
were gagged and cruelly flogged. Such treatment naturally 
often led to suicide. To mention a comparatively recent 
instance : in 1819 six prisoners were in one of the dungeons 
of the Inquisition at Valencia. A gaoler, instructed to try 
one of them, that is, to get a confession out of him, told him 
that if he did not reveal what he knew, he would be racked 
next day. The prisoner confessed nothing, but next day the 
six prisoners were found dead ; they had strangled one 
another, and the last had asphyxiated himself by inhaling 

VOL. I. M 


the poisonous gases arising from the utensil above referred 
to. The prisoners had been charged with being Freemasons. 
Sometimes a prisoner was left to die of starvation, or kept 
for years in his dungeon, whilst no one dared to raise a voice 
in his behalf. People disappeared, and their relations and 
friends only surmised, and cautiously whispered among 
themselves their suspicions, that they were languishing, or 
had perhaps died, in the prisons of the Inquisition. Some 
of the prisoners, however, were brought before their judges, 
in whose presence they were compelled to sit on the sharp 
edge of a triangular piece of wood, supported by two X ; 
this mockery of a seat was called a potro. The trial was 
supposed to be public, but the audience was packed ; none 
but good Catholics, who could be depended on, were invited 
to attend. That the publicity was a mere delusion, is proved 
by the fact that the New Christians offered King Ferdinand 
the sum of 600,000 ducats to let the trials be public ; but 
Cardinal Ximenes, the Grand Inquisitor, induced the king to 
decline the offer, as he also persuaded Charles V. to refuse 
the still higher offer of 800,000 ducats made by the same 
New Christians for the same privilege. The prisoner, when 
before his judges, was exhorted to confess his crime, but he 
was not informed of the charge against him ; and if he did 
not know what to confess, or if his confession did not agree 
with the secret information against him, he was taken to 
the torture chamber, to extort what was wanted. As the 
Inquisitors were profoundly religious men (!), regulating 
their conduct by the teaching of Christ, which forbids the 
shedding of blood, they had with hellish ingenuity contrived 
their instruments of torture so that they should avoid that 
result, and yet inflict the greatest suffering the human body 
can possibly bear, without having the vital spark extinguished 
in it. It is true that the pendulum torture which certainly 
was applied, as the instrument was discovered as late as the 
year 1820 in the prison of the Inquisition at Seville proved 
that the rule was broken through ; but the modern Inqui- 
sitors, it appears, were not so conscientious as the ancient ! 
The Inquisitors, whilst admitting that innocent persons 
might sometimes die under torture, maintained that still it 
ought to be applied, for if a good Catholic died under their 
hands he went straight into paradise, which no doubt was 
very consolatory to the victim ! 

223. Palace of the Inquisition. The palace of the Inqui- 
sition contained the judgment hall, offices for the employe's, 
torture chambers, cells of mercy and penitence, and dungeons, 


besides the private apartments of the Grand Inquisitor. A 
rich prisoner was first taken to a cell of mercy, and if he 
could be persuaded to surrender all his property to the 
Inquisition, he was, after some months of seclusion, allowed 
to issue forth, as poor as Job, but rich in the gifts of grace. 
The cells of mercy were on the first floor. The cells of 
penitence, to which victims less ready to be converted were 
taken, were generally situate in small round towers of about 
ten feet diameter, just under the roof. They were white- 
washed, and the only light they received was through a small 
opening in the vaulted ceiling. The only furniture were a 
stool and a truckle bed. If a prolonged stay in this terrible 
solitude did not have the desired effect, the victim was 
consigned to a dungeon, with walls five feet thick, and 
double doors, in almost total darkness, with an earthen 
vessel for the excrements, which was emptied once in four 
days. What the prisoners' food consisted of, may be inferred 
from the fact that something less than a penny a day was 
allowed for it and, of course, the poor gaoler had to make 
his profit out of it ! The next move of the prisoner was to 
the torture chamber. 

The torture chamber in the papal palace at Avignon was 
constructed with diabolical ingenuity. To cause the shrieks 
and groans of those tortured to remain confined within the 
hall, each wall projects and recedes in such a manner as to 
exhibit a face in a different direction to that of the wall on 
the opposite side, and in this way the solid mass of masonry 
of each wall is carried upwards, the result of which peculiar 
structure is that shrieks were thrown back from wall to wall, 
and thus never could reach the outside, nor disturb the pope, 
toying with his concubines in the adjoining palace. The 
place where the victims were burnt is a vast circular chamber, 
.shaped exactly like the furnace of a glass-house, terminating 
at the top in a narrow chimney of a funnel form. Up to 
about the year 1850 these chambers were shown to strangers, 
but since then the superior ecclesiastical authorities of 
Avignon have caused them to be dismantled and shut up 
they showed the Church in too hideous a character. 

224. Tortures. There were three modes of torture chiefly 
in use. The first was that of the cord. The prisoner's arms 
were tied behind him with one end of a long rope, which 
passed over a pulley fixed in the vault of the chamber ; he 
was then raised from the ground to a considerable height, 
which, by twisting his arms backward and above his head, 
was sufficient to dislocate the shoulder joints ; the rope was 


then suddenly slackened, so that he fell to within a foot or 
so from the ground, by which his arms were nearly torn out 
of their sockets, and his whole body sustained a fearful 
concussion. In some cases the back of the victim, in being 
drawn up, was made to press against a roller, set round with 
sharp spikes, causing, of course, fearful laceration. At Rome 
this mode of torturing was of half-an-hour's duration ; in 
Spain it was continued for more than an hour. Another 
mode of applying the cord torture was by fastening the 
victim down on a sort of wooden bed and encircling his 
arms and legs in different places with thin cord, which by 
means of winches could be so tightened as to cut deep into 
the flesh. If these tortures found the prisoner firm, and 
extorted no confession, it was generally in the above position 
that he was subjected to the torture by water. His mouth 
and nostrils were covered with a thick cloth, and one of the 
Satanic brood of Dominican friars would sit by him, and 
through a funnel pour water on the cloth, which speedily 
became soaked, and then more water being poured on, the 
latter would enter the mouth of the unfortunate wretch lying 
there in fearful agony, undergoing all the pangs of slow 
suffocation, while his brow was covered with the cold sweat 
of death, and the blood started from his eyes and nostrils ;. 
and all the time the fiend by his side exhorted him, " for the 
love of Him who died on the Cross," to confess. The third 
mode of torture was by fire. The victim was stretched and 
fastened on the ground ; the soles of his feet were exposed 
and rubbed with oil or lard, or any other easily inflammable 
matter, and then a portable fire was placed against them ;. 
the intense torture the burning of the greasy matter spread 
on the soles caused to the unfortunate prisoner may be 
imagined. When, in consequence of it, the prisoner declared 
himself ready to confess, a screen was interposed between 
his feet and the fire; on its withdrawal, if the confession 
was not satisfactory, the pain was even more frightful than 
before. Ingenious Inquisitors would sometimes vary the 
mode of torturing. Thus John de Eoma, a monk attached 
to the Inquisition, caused some of his victims to be forced 
into boots filled with boiling tallow, and the tonsured monster 
laughed over the cries of the wretched sufferers. The 
wretches who, at the Inquisitor's command, executed all 
these terrible operations on their fellow-creatures, wore long 
black gowns with hoods covering their heads, having holes 
for mouth, nostrils, and eyes. 

Another diabolical device of the Inquisitors consisted in 


this, that while they asserted that the torture or being put 
to the question could only be applied once, they declared the 
torture suspended, when it was found that by continuing it 
at the time the victim would die under their hands, and thus 
deprive them of the further gratification of their thirst for 
cruelty. The torture was begun, but not finished, and the 
unfortunate wretch could thus be put to the question as often 
as they pleased the torture was only being continued ! This 
diabolical fiction was also part of the judicial procedure 
against witches, as laid down in the Malleus maleficarum. 
The Inquisitors further were the first to put women to the 
torture ; neither the weakness nor the modesty of the sex 
had any influence on them. The Dominican friars the 
Thugs of the Papacy would flog naked women in the cor- 
ridors of the Inquisition building, after having first violated 
them, for some slight breach of discipline ! Even after this 
lapse of time, it makes one's blood boil with indignation 
when thinking of those horrors ! The fact has been denied 
by apologists of the Inquisition; but that the practice existed, 
is proved by the severe decree against it made by the 
Inquisitor-General Ximenes Cisneros (1507-1517), who 
threatened with death every official of the Holy Office who 
should be guilty of this and similar excesses. Yet this 
Cisneros caused 2536 victims to be burnt alive ! 

225. Condemnation and Execution of Prisoners. Out 
of every 2000 persons accused, perhaps one escaped con- 
demnation to death or lifelong imprisonment. The most 
fortunate those that were reconciled had to appear, bare- 
headed, with a cord round their neck, clothed in the san 
benito, an ugly garment, something like a sack, with black 
and yellow or white stripes, and carrying a green wax taper 
in their hands, in the hall of the tribunal, or sometimes 
openly in a church, where, on their knees, they abjured the 
heresies laid to their charge. They were then condemned 
to wear the ignominious garment for some considerable time. 
Several other degrading and troublesome conditions were 
imposed on them, and the greater portion or whole of their 
property was confiscated : this was a rule the holy fathers 
never departed from. The relaxed, or those condemned to 
death, dressed in an even more hideous garb than the " re- 
conciled," having the portrait of the victim immersed in 
flames, and devils dancing round about it, painted thereon, 
were led out to the place of execution, attended by monks 
and friars, and burnt at the stake, the court, Grand Inquisitor, 
his officers, and the people witnessing the agonies of the 


dying, and inhaling the flavour of their burning flesh with 
intense satisfaction. One trait of mercy the monkish demons 
showed consisted in first strangling those that died penitent 
before burning them, whilst those who maintained their 
innocence to the last were burnt alive. These bloody re- 
creations at last became so fashionable, that in Spain and 
Portugal the accession of a king, a royal marriage, or the 
birth of a prince, was celebrated by a grand auto-da-fe, 
for which as many victims were reserved or procured as- 

226. Procession of the Auto-da-fe. The night before the 
auto-da-fe" a procession of wood-cutters, Dominicans, and 
familiars started from the building of the Inquisition for the 
open space where the sacrifice was to take place. On their 
arrival there they planted by the side of an altar, already 
erected there, a green cross, covered with black crape. This 
cross was symbolical of the grief of the Church for the heretics 
who were going to be burnt. After having set up the cross 
the procession returned, minus the Dominicans, who remained 
behind to pray and chant psalms. The procession of the 
auto-da-fe, which started early in the morning for the place 
of execution, was opened by a company of lance-bearers, 
then came priests, then men carrying the effigies of such 
heretics as had made their escape, and could therefore not be 
bodily burnt or degraded ; these men were followed by such 
as carried coarse coffins or shells, containing the bones or 
corpses of heretics who had died while in the prisons of the 
Inquisition. After these marched those who had repented, 
who were followed by the relaxed, or those condemned to be 
burnt, and wearing the hideous san benito. Such as it was 
feared might speak heretical words to the bystanders were 
gagged. Each victim carried a lighted taper, and was 
accompanied by two friars, to urge him either to be con- 
verted, if obstinate, or to give him such spiritual comfort as 
Dominican friars could bestow. Behind these victims walked 
the familiars and, as already stated, grandees of Spain 
deemed it an honour to be such after these came the 
Inquisitors with their Council, the whole procession closing 
with the standard of the Tribunal carried aloft. When the 
dismal train had arrived at the place of execution, and those 
who were condemned to a less punishment than death had 
had their different sentences read to them, the great treat of 
the day, the burning, began. As soon as the victims had 
been placed on the piles of wood, and chained to the posts 
erected in the middle of each pile, the devout people called 


out, " Let the dogs' beards be made ! " which was done by 
the executioners thrusting staves, to which burning heather 
had been tied, into the faces of the victims, till they were 
black and singed. With 

" The foolish people gazing 
Upon a scene, in which some day 
Each might himself the victim play." 

But the Inquisitors were not always satisfied with a simple 
burning ; they sometimes superadded diabolical tortures, as, 
for instance, gagging by means of a piece of wood, cleft so 
as to let the tongue be held by it, or actually tearing out the 
tongue, to prevent the victims uttering heresies while being 
led to the stake ; or worse still, flaying them alive, and then 
strewing brimstone and salt over the skinned body, and 
burning it slowly suspended by chains over live coal. The 
Inquisitors gave Francis I., king of France, in 1535, six times 
in one day the treat of seeing a heretic drawn up and down 
by chains over the flames, till the partly-consumed body of 
each fell into the burning pile beneath. That madman, 
Charles V., whom courtly historians call a " great " prince, 
ordered female heretics to be buried alive ! 

227. History continued. The monster Torquemada was 
still Inquisitor-General. The people of Aragon, who had 
from the first violently opposed the establishment of the 
Inquisition in their territory, were exasperated when autos- 
da-fe began to be celebrated among them, and in order to 
intimidate their butchers slew the most violent of their 
oppressors, one Peter Arbues of Epila, at the altar. The 
Church immediately placed him among her martyrs ; Queen 
Isabella erected a statue to him ; his body wrought miracles, 
and Pope Pius IX. canonized him. The just death of the 
Inquisitor of course led to increased cruelty and persecu- 
tion on the part of the Holy Office ; the men who slew 
Arbues unfortunately were captured ; they had their hands 
cut off before being hanged, and their bodies were cut up 
in pieces, which were exposed on the highways. Torque- 
mada next urged on the king and queen to expel the Jews 
from their states, as enemies of the Christian religion, 
The Jews, informed of their danger, offered the king 
30,000 ducats towards the expenses of the war with 
Granada, on condition that they were allowed to stay. Ferdi- 
nand and Isabella were on the point of acceding to this pro- 
posal, when Torquemada, a crucifix in his hand, presented 
himself to the sovereigns, and thus addressed them: " Judas 


was the first to sell his master for thirty pieces of silver. 
Your highnesses intend selling him a second time for thirty 
pieces of gold. Here he is, take him, and speedily conclude 
the sale ! " Of course the proud king and equally haughty 
queen cringed before the insolent friar, and the decree went 
forth on the 3ist March 1492 that by the 3ist July 
of the same year all Jews must have quitted the states 
of Ferdinand and Isabella on pain of death and confisca- 
tion of all their property. Some 800,000 Jews emigrated, 
momentarily saving their lives, but scarcely any property, 
since the time was too short for realising it at its value. 
Thousands of men. women, and children perished by the 
way, so that the Jews compared their sufferings to those 
their forefathers underwent at the time of Titus. When, 
shortly after this expulsion of the Jews, the kingdom of 
Granada was conquered by the Spanish arms, the conquest 
was considered as heaven's special approval and reward ; and 
Ferdinand, to show his religious zeal, committed every kind 
of cruelty his soul could invent. After the capture of 
Malaga, twelve Jews, who had taken refuge there, underwent 
by his direct orders the terrible death by pointed reeds, a 
slow but fatal torture, like being stabbed to death with 

Torquemada died in 1498 ; his successor, the Dominican 
Deza, introduced the Inquisition into the newly-conquered 
kingdom of Granada; 8o,coo Moors, preferring exile to 
baptism, left the country. He also introduced the terrible 
tribunal into Naples and Sicily; and though the Sicilians at 
first rose against it, and expelled the Inquisitors, they had 
afterward, overcome by Charles V., to submit to its re- 
establishment. Deza, during his short reign of nine years, 
caused 2592 individuals to be burnt alive and 829 in effigy, 
and condemned upwards of 32,000 to imprisonment and the 
galleys, with total confiscation of property. He was suc- 
ceeded by the mild Ximenes, after whom came Adrien 
Boeijens, who was as cruel a persecutor as Torquemada ; the 
Lutheran doctrines, now gaining ground, gave him and his 
successors plenty of occupation, and the bonfires of the 
Inquisition blazed not only in Spain, but at Naples, Malta, 
Venice, in Sardinia and Flanders; and in the Spanish 
colonies in America the poor Indians perished in hecatombs, 
for either refusing to be baptized, or being suspected of having 
relapsed into their former idolatry, after having adopted and 
professed the mild and gentle creed of Christianity. 

228. General History of Institution continued. We need 


not go through the list of Grand Inquisitors seriatim. Let 
us only give particular facts, indicative of the spirit that 
-continued to guide them. Under the generalate of Valdes, 
the eighth Inquisitor-General, a lady ninety years old, Marie 
de Bourgogne, immensely rich, was denounced by a servant 
as having said : " Christians respect neither faith nor law." 
She was thereupon cast into one of the dungeons of the 
Holy Office, where she remained for five years for want of 
proof. At the end of that time she was put to the torture 
to extort an avowal, and she was so unmercifully racked, 
that she died under the butchers' hands. She underwent 
the three tortures of the cord, water, and fire. But her trial 
was continued after her death, and ended in her remains 
being condemned to be burnt, and the total confiscation of 
her property ; her children, besides being disinherited, also 
being declared infamous for ever. In 1559, at an auto-da-fe 
held at Valladolid, they burnt the body of Dame Eleanor de 
Vibero y Cazalla, who had died a good Catholic, but was 
.after her death accused by witnesses, whose confessions were 
extorted by the rack, of having associated with Lutherans. 
Her property was confiscated. The Inquisition also con- 
demned Charles V., after his death, as a heretic, and caused 
his confessor, Dr. Cazalla, to be burnt alive. At this auto- 
da-fe were present the Princess Donna Joan, the regent, in 
the absence of Philip II. from the kingdom, and Prince Don 
Carlos, then only fourteen years of age. 

229. Englishmen Imprisoned by the Inquisition. In 1558 
Nicholas Burton, a London citizen, who traded to Spain, 
arrived at Cadiz in his own ship. He was seized by the 
Inquisition and accused of having spoken disrespectfully of 
that tribunal, and being a heretic, and after having been 
kept in prison for two years, was burnt alive, his mouth 
being gagged, at Seville. The Inquisition seized his ship 
and cargo, valued at ; 50,000. But portion of the cargo 
belonged to a Bristol merchant, who sent his lawyer, John 
Frampton, to Spain to claim his property. His mission, of 
course, failed. He was sent to Cadiz a second time, when 
the Inquisition seized, imprisoned, and racked him, and 
finally made him appear in the auto-da-fe", in which Burton 
was burnt. But eventually Frampton made his escape, 
returned to England, and published his experiences. Why 
did our blustering Bess, who sent thousands of Englishmen 
to perish abroad to uphold the cause of foreigners, the 
Huguenots, not interfere in behalf of two Englishmen, her 
own subjects, to snatch them from the clutches of the 


Spanish fiends? Well, Philip of Spain had made her aru 
offer of marriage, and even a queen does not like to offend 
an unsuccessful suitor. 

230. History continued. Philip II. extended the juris- 
diction of the Inquisition throughout the Netherlands, and 
in spite of the resistance of the inhabitants, met with such 
success, that his noble executioner, the Duke of Alva, could 
boast of having withiii five years sent to the stake and 
gallows 18,000 persons for the crime of heresy. But 
the oppression at last became so great, that the Netherlands 
revolted again, and this time successfully; they for ever 
threw off the Spanish yoke. It was during this Dutch 
war of liberation that the mysterious catastrophe of Don 
Carlos, Philip's son by his first wife, occurred, Romance 
asserts that the tragedy had its origin in the love passages 
said to have taken place between Don Carlos and Philip's- 
second wife, Elizabeth of France, who, before becoming his 
stepmother, had been his affianced bride. But history 
explains the facts in this way: Don Carlos conspired against 
his father, a gloomy tyrant, who deprived him of every scrap 
of power and influence, keeping him in the perfect subjection 
of a child ; the prince thought of assassinating the king, or 
flying to the Netherlands, which he hoped to erect into an 
independent kingdom for himself. While he was hesitating, 
the Inquisition discovered both incipient schemes, revealed 
them to the king, and pronounced either deserving of death. 
Don Carlos was seized, imprisoned, and killed by poison. It 
is difficult to imagine a moral monster such as Philip II. was. 
He caused the works of Vesale, his own physician, who first 
taught the true facts and principles of anatomy, with their 
illustrations by Titian, to be publicly burnt, and the doctor 
himself was compelled to make an involuntary pilgrimage to- 
Jerusalem to expiate his impious attempt of prying into the 
secrets of nature. This, we may say, was simply absurd on 
the part of the king ; what follows is atrocious. In 1559 he 
learnt that an auto-da-ft had taken place in a distant locality, 
where thirty persons had perished at the stake. He besought 
the Inquisitors to be allowed to witness a similar spectacle ; 
the Dominican devils, to encourage and reward such holy 
zeal on the part of Heaven's anointed, sent out their archers, 
who searched with such diligence for victims, that on the 6th 
October of the same year the king was able to preside at 
Valladolid at the burning of forty of his subjects, which gave 
him the most lively satisfaction. One of the condemned, 
a person of distinction, implored the royal mercy, as he was- 


being led to the stake. "No," replied the crowned hyena r 
" if it were my own son, I would surrender him to the flames 
if he persisted in his heresy." 

In 1566 the Grand Inquisitor Espinosa began his crusade 
against the Moors that still remained in Spain. For a long 
time the persecuted race confined themselves to remon- 
strances, but when it was decreed that their children must 
thenceforth be brought up in the Christian faith, a vast 
conspiracy was formed, which for nine months was kept 
secret, and would have been successful had not the Moors 
of the mountainous districts broken out into open rebellion 
before those of the country and towns were prepared to 
support them. The Christians scattered among the Moorish 
population of course were the first victims of the long pent-up 
rage of the Mussulmans. Three thousand perished at the 
first outset ; all the monks of a monastery were cast into 
boiling oil. One of the insurgents, the intimate friend of a 
Christian, knew of no greater proof of affection he could 
show him than transfixing him with his lance, lest others 
should treat him worse. The Marquis of Mondejar, captain- 
general of Andalusia, was appointed to put down the insur- 
rection. As he was too humane, his reprisals not being 
severe enough, the Marquis de Los Velez, called by the 
Moors the "Demon with the Iron Head," was associated 
with him in the command, and he carried on war in the most 
ferocious manner. At the battle of Ohanez blood was shed 
in such quantities, that the thirsty Spaniards could not find 
one unpolluted spring. One thousand six hundred Moors 
were subjected to a treatment worse than death, and imme- 
diately after Los Velez and his band of butchers celebrated 
the feast of the Purification of the Virgin ! And in the 
end the superior number of the Christians triumphed over 
Moorish bravery, and the Inquisitors were busy for weeks 
holding autos-da-f6 to celebrate the victory of the true 

Under the long reign of Philip II., called the "Demon of 
the South," six Grand Inquisitors carried on their bloody 
orgies. The Keformed Creed of course supplied the greatest 
numbers of victims ; at Seville on one occasion eight hundred 
were arrested all at once. At the first auto-da-ft of Valla- 
d olid, on I2th May 1559, fourteen members of one family 
were burnt. The Inquisition was established in the island 
of Sardinia, at Lima, Mexico, Cartagena, in the fleet, army, 
and even among custom-house officers. By the original 
documents in Trinity College, Dublin, it appears that in the 


three years from 1 564 to 1 567 the Inquisition at Kome passed 
1 1 1 sentences on heretics. 

231. History continued. Philip III. of Spain was early 
taught the power of the Inquisition ; for when, at the 
beginning of his reign, he was obliged to be present at an 
auto-da-fe, and could not restrain his tears at seeing two 
young women, one Jewish and the other Moorish, burnt at 
the stake, for no other fault than that of having been brought 
up in the different creeds of their fathers, the Inquisitors 
imputed to him his compassion as a crime, which could only 
be expiated by blood : the king had to submit to being bled 
and seeing his blood burnt by the executioner. The Inqui- 
sitors, in fact, were above the king. At autos-da-fe the 
Grand Inquisitor's throne was more lofty than that of the 
king. The Inquisitor Tabera kept the arch-priest of Malaga 
for two years in prison, because that ecclesiastic, whilst carry- 
ing the viaticum to a dying person, had not stopped to let 
the Inquisitor pass. 

Philip IV. inaugurated his reign by an auto-da-fd (1632). 
The Inquisitor-General gave to the show of the auto-da-fd, 
whose interest began to decline, a new zest by causing the 
sentence of death against ten marranos to be read to them, 
while each of them had one hand nailed to a wooden cross. 

The marriage of Charles II. with the niece of Louis XIV. 
(1680) was celebrated with an auto-da-fd at Madrid. On the 
1 2th April 1869 some workmen, employed in digging up the 
earth in the chief square of Madrid, came upon a layer of 
coals and ashes, mixed with bones, which proved to be human 
bones ; moreover, iron collars and other things were found, 
which left no doubt that the spot had been the scene of the 
auto-da-fl of 1680, a full account of which was published, by 
" express desire of the king and of the Grand Inquisitor, Valla- 
dares, to the honour and glory of Spain," by Joseph del Olmo, 
who was one of the familiars of the Inquisition. This auto- 
de-f6 was even a grander affair than that of 1632. There 
were 118 victims, one-and-twenty of whom were burnt alive 
in the presence of the young king and queen and the nobility 
of the court, besides a vast concourse of less exalted spec- 
tators. On the previous day the wood-cutters, to the number 
of 290, had defiled before the royal palace, every one with a 
log of wood on his shoulder. Their leader stopped at the gate 
of the palace, where a duke was in waiting to receive the log, 
which he reverently carried up to the king, who took it from 
him, carried it to the boudoir of the queen, placed the piece 
of wood, on which two days after a human being was to be 


burnt alive, into her arms, like a baby ; he then gave it back to 
his grace, my lord duke, and, according to the instructions he 
had received from his father-confessor, the Don Estevan del 
Vado, Inquisitor of Toledo, sent word to the captain of the 
wood-cutters, that on the auto-da-fe this log was to be thrown 
into the flames in the name of the king. On the day of the 
auto-da-fe the show was not over till half-past nine at night ; 
and, says Del Olmo, " The public went away highly pleased, 
especially with the conduct of the king, who had stood the 
heat of the day, and shown that he was not at all weary." 

232. Reflections. Is it possible to realise the horrors of 
this transaction a man brought up in the principles of 
chivalry, and a woman of royal birth, whom one would 
suppose to be not only noble, but also gentle, witnessing, 
on their wedding-day, when one would imagine their hearts 
to be full of joy, and therefore full of good-will towards all 
men, and especially their subjects, so cruel a spectacle as 
the burning alive of human beings, burnt, so to say, in their 
honour ? But here we see the effects of evil church govern- 
ment and priestly influence. When the mania of burning 
every old woman who had a black cat, as a witch, arose, the 
Inquisition found a new field of labour ; and whatever might 
be the density of mental darkness with which priests and 
monks covered Europe, they took care there should be plenty 
of material light, and hence the funeral pyres of human reason 
and liberty were always blazing. Some of the Molinists, 
who, under pretext of " Perfect Contemplation," encour- 
aged the most scandalous sexual excesses, were also burnt, 
not on account of their immoral practices, but because of 
some so-called heretical notions they propounded. 

Under the succeeding kings of Spain general enlighten- 
ment and civilisation had made too much progress to allow 
the Inquisitors to indulge as formerly their frantic rage 
and fanatical cruelty. During the reign of Ferdinand VI, 
Charles III., and Charles IV., they obtained only 245 con- 
demnations, of which fourteen were to death. Freemasons 
and Jansenists were the principal victims. One of the 
vilest acts of the Inquisition during the reign of Charles III. 
was the imprisonment, on the charge of heresy, in 1778, 
of Count Olivades, the founder of La Carolina, the central 
city of the Sierra Morena colony, and of other highly 
beneficial institutions to Spain. His friends enabled him, 
in 1780, to make his escape to Venice. 

233. Abolition of the Inquisition. Napoleon, on the 4th 
December 1808, whilst encamped at the village of Chamartin, 


a, short distance from Madrid, summoned the authorities of 
Madrid to surrender. The Grand Inquisitor refused. 
Napoleon wrote on a piece of paper : " The Inquisitors are 
to be made prisoners. The Holy Office has ceased to exist. 
Its revenues are confiscated." Colonel Lumanuski, acting 
under the immediate orders of Marshal Soult, was sent to 
seize the palace of the Inquisition at Madrid. The building 
was surrounded by a strong wall, and guarded by 400 
.soldiers. The Fathers were summoned to open the gates, 
instead of which they shot the herald. The order to attack 
was given immediately. The Spanish soldiers were protected 
by their walls, the French troops were exposed, in an open 
plain, to their fire, and had no ladders. Some trees were 
cut down, turned into battering- ranis, and soon a breach 
was made in the wall, through which the French entered 
the building. Then the priests left their cells, pretending to 
be surprised at the garrison having offered any resistance 
to their friends, the French ! But Lumanuski, not to be 
deceived, ordered them to be closely guarded ; the soldiers 
were all made prisoners. The French then examined the 
building ; they found splendid halls and rooms, but no 
prisons, torture rooms, or any of the horrors usually asso- 
ciated with the dread tribunal. Lumanuski was about to 
retire, when Colonel di Lilla suggested that the marble floor 
of the ground floor should have water poured on it, to see 
if it would flow off anywhere. Speedily it was seen to dis- 
appear through a crack between two slabs of marble. In 
trying to raise one of the slabs a soldier touched a hidden 
spring, and the slab rose up, revealing a staircase, descending 
which the French first came to a large hall, the judgment 
hall, with appropriate furniture ; then they discovered a 
number of cells, in some of which bodies of men, in various 
states of decay, were found prisoners who had been left to 
die in solitary confinement. In others they found prisoners 
still alive, men, women, and children, all perfectly naked, 
and numbering about one hundred persons. These, of course, 
were clothed, the soldiers giving them their cloaks or coats, 
and restored to liberty. All the cells having been visited, 
the French next came upon the torture chambers, containing 
all the diabolical instruments invented for racking human 
bodies. At this sight the fury of the French soldiers was 
not to be restrained; they declared that the holy fathers 
should themselves undergo the tortures they had inflicted on 
their victims ; and Lumanuski states that he saw the torture 
applied in four different ways on as many of the Inquisitorial 


fiends a very slight retribution for all the evil they had 

234. Restoration and Final Abolition. But Ferdinand 
VII. on his restoration alas ! with the help of England in 
1814, re-established the Inquisition, and appointed Francis 
Thiery Campilla, Bishop of Almeria, its forty-fifth Inquisitor- 
General. Immediately the prisons, galleys, and penal colonies 
were filled with prisoners, Freemasons forming a preponder- 
ating number amongst them. But in 1820 all the Spanish 
provinces combined again in a general insurrection, broke 
the bonds of Absolutism, again crushed the Inquisition and 
its familiars, set free its prisoners, demolished its palaces and 
prisons, and burnt its instruments of torture. But in 1823 
a fresh reaction set in ; French troops, led by the Duke of 
Angouleme, restored Ferdinand VII. to the throne, and the 
king, at the "earnest desire of his subjects/' set up the In- 
quisition once more ; and " if the Spanish nation was anxious 
for its restoration," as Dr. Briick, the apologist of Absolut- 
ism, both political and priestly, in his " History of the Secret 
Societies of Spain " observes, " it is a proof that this tribunal 
was neither cruel nor unpopular." But the tribunal was 
unpopular, and the feeling was so strongly expressed, that 
the English ambassador, Sir Henry Wellesley, siding with 
the nation, threatened to leave Spain if the Inquisition were 
re-established with all its former authority. But though 
shorn of its once absolute power, the institution was still 
strong enough to send people to the scaffold: in 1826 it 
burnt a Jew ; and a schoolmaster, accused of Quakerism, 
was hanged at Valencia on the 3ist July of the same year. 
True, the last victim did not wear the san benito, but his own 
clothes ; the Inquisitors could no longer render their prisoners 
ridiculous ; and the barefooted Carmelite friar, who accom- 
panied the Quaker, could not, even at the last moment, win 
him for the heaven he promised him if he recanted. The 
Quaker died impenitent. 

The Inquisition still exists in Portugal, though in a modi- 
fied form. It also still exists at Rome : its palace stands to 
the left of St. Peter's, but its dungeons are empty, and the 
once murderous Inquisition is now merely a tribunal of 
clerical discipline. 

235. The False Nuncio. I have in the foregoing account 
spoken of the Inquisition chiefly as it existed in Spain. It 
was, however, not confined to that country; its fearful octopus 
3,rms embraced every nation it could reach. The way it 
was introduced into Portugal was peculiar, and worthy 


of that tribunal. In 1539 there appeared at Lisbon a papal 
legate, who declared to have come to Portugal, there to 
establish the Inquisition. He brought the king letters from 
Pope Paul III, and produced the most ample credentials for 
nominating a Grand Inquisitor and all other officers of the 
sacred tribunal. This man was a clever swindler, called John 
Peres, of Saavedra, who was an adept at imitating all kinds 
of writing and forging signatures and seals. He was attended 
by a magnificent train of more than a hundred servants, and 
to defray his expenses had borrowed at Seville enormous- 
sums in the name of the Apostolic Chamber at Borne. The 
king was at first surprised and angry that the Pope should 
send an envoy of this description without previous notice y 
but Peres haughtily replied, that in so urgent a matter as- 
the establishment of the Inquisition and the suppression of 
heresy the Holy Father could not stand on points ; and that 
the king was highly honoured by the fact that the first mes- 
senger who brought him the news was the legate himself. 
The king dared complain no more ; and the false nuncio the 
same day nominated a Grand Inquisitor, set up the Holy 
Office, and collected money for its working expenses. Before 
news could come from Rome, the rogue had already pocketed 
upwards of two hundred thousand ducats. But he could not 
make his escape before the swindle was discovered, and Fere's 
was condemned to be whipped and sent to the galleys for ten 
years. But the best of the joke was, that the Pope confirmed 
all the swindler had done ; in the plentitude of his divine 
power, Paul III. declared the slight irregularities which 
attended the establishment of the Portuguese Inquisition 
not to affect its efficacy or moral character, and that, now 
it was established, it should remain so. 

236. The, Inquisition in various Countries. Other countries 
where the Inquisition was established were the Spanish 
Netherlands, the Spanish colonies in America, in the East 
Indies, the Papal States, Venice, Germany, where for some 
time it raged with particular ferocity ; the Dominican fiends 
had scarcely been three years at Strasbourg when they burnt 
eighty Waldenses, and the demon, Konrad von Marburg, tra- 
velled up and down the country burning heretics with diabolical 
joy. He met with a well-merited reward by being killed by 
Count Sayn, near Marburg. In some of the countries named 
above the Inquisition was abolished before it ceased to exist 
in Spain and Italy. In 1557 an attempt was made to intro- 
duce the Inquisition into England, but, fortunately for this 
country, unsuccessfully. But, even without its help, Bloody 


Mary had the satisfaction of burning ninety-four heretics in 
the course of that year in England alone. 

237. Apologists of the Inquisition. Some writers, who dis- 
cuss history philosophically which means whitewashing cruel 
tyrants and monstrous institutions the learned divines in 
scratch wigs and the courtly historiographers in flowing peri- 
wigs, have endeavoured to whitewash the Inquisition. It was 
an institution, they say, necessary in its day to preserve the 
purity of religion ; an argument not worth answering, it is so 
absurd. No man, and no aggregation of men though it call 
itself " the Church " has any inherent right to call any man 
to account for his religious belief : it is a matter of conscience 
no tribunal is competent to meddle with. Then the apolo- 
gists of the Inquisition further say, that the Inquisitors were 
more fanatical than cruel. This, again, is false. No man, 
who was not cruel, could have inflicted the sufferings inflicted 
on their fellow-men by the Inquisitors. The pity they pre- 
tended to feel for their victims, and the anxiety they displayed 
for the welfare of the souls of those they sacrified to their 
ambition and greed for their victims generally possessed 
means, which the Inquisition confiscated were even more 
wicked than the cruelties they practised. The Spanish 
Inquisitors and monks were infamous hypocrites, and not 
fanatics. The morality of fanatics usually is above re- 
proach ; but no men ever were more debauched, more filthy, 
more corrupt than Spanish Inquisitors, monks, and the priest- 
hood in general. In 1556 the public voice of Spain accused 
certain priests of using the confessional for immoral purposes. 
Paul IV. ordered the Inquisition to investigate the matter. 
The denunciations were so numerous, that the Inquisitors, 
fearing too great a scandal, had to renounce the prosecution 
of the delinquent priests ; and, no doubt, they had a fellow- 
feeling for them ! And I cannot help agreeing with Hoff- 
mann, the latest historian of the Inquisition, when he says, 
that the modern apologists of that tribunal must be even 
more bloodthirsty than the Inquisitors were, for with the latter 
the fierce religious fanaticism of their age in some degree 
palliated their inhumanity : to defend it in this age shows a 
real tiger nature. 

VOL. I. N 



" There is great abundance of chaff and straw to the grain, but the 
grain is good, and as we do not eat either the chaff or straw, if we can 
avoid it, nor even the raw grain, but thrash and winnow it, and grind it 
and bake it, we find it, after undergoing this process, not only very palat- 
able, but a special dainty of its kind. But the husk is an unsurmountable 
obstacle to those learned and educated gentlemen who judge of books 
entirely by the style and grammar, and who eat grain as it grows, like the 
-cattle." Rev. J. SMITH. 


" In our day men are only too much disposed to regard the views of 
the disciples and followers of the Arabian school, and of the late Alchy- 
mists, respecting transmutation of metals, as a mere hallucination of the 
human mind, and, strangely enough, to lament it. But the idea of the 
variable and changeable corresponds with universal experience, and always 
precedes that of the unchangeable." LIEBIG. 

The alchymist he had his gorgeous vision 
Of boundless wealth and everlasting youth ; 

He strove untiringly, with firm decision, 
To turn his fancies into glorious truth, 

Undaunted by the rabble's loud derision, 
Condemning without reason, without ruth, 

And though he never found the pearl he sought, 

Yet many a secret gem to light he brought. 

238. Astrology perhaps Secret Heresy. The mystic astro- 
nomy of ancient nations produced judicial astrology, which, 
considered from this point of view, will appear less absurd. 
It was the principal study of the Middle Ages ; and Home 
was so violently opposed to it because, perhaps, it was not 
only heresy, but a wide- spread reaction against the Church 
of Rome. It was chiefly cultivated by the Jews, and pro- 
tected by princes opposed to the papal supremacy. The 
Church was not satisfied with burning the books, but burned 
the writers ; and the poor astrologers, who spent their lives 
in the contemplation of the heavens, mostly perished at the 

239. Process by which Astrology degenerated. As it often 
happens that the latest disciples attach themselves to the 
letter, understanding literally what in the first instance was 
only a fiction, taking the mask for a real face, so we may 
suppose astrology to have degenerated and become false and 
puerile. Hermes, the legislator of Egypt, who was revealed 
in the Samothracian mysteries, and often represented with a 
ram by his side a constellation initiating the new course of 

the equinoctial sun, the conqueror of darkness was revived 

i 97 


in astrological practice ; and a great number of astrological 
works, the writings of Christian Gnostics and Neo-Platonists, 
were attributed to him, and he was considered the father of 
the art from him called hermetic, and embracing astrology 
and alchymy, the rudimentary efforts of two sciences, which 
at first overawed ignorance by imposture, but, after labouring 
for centuries in the dark, conquered for themselves glorious 
thrones in human knowledge. 

240. Scientific Value of Alchymy. Though Alchymy is no 
longer believed in as a true science, in spite of the prophecy 
of Dr. Girtanner, of Gottingen, that in the nineteenth cen- 
tury the transmutation of metals will be generally known and 
practised, it will never lose its power of awakening curiosity 
and seducing the imagination. The aspect of the marvellous 
which its doctrines assume, the strange renown attaching to 
the memory of the adepts, and the mixture of reality and 
illusion, of truths and chimeras which it presents, will always 
exercise a powerful fascination upon many minds. And we 
ought also to remember that every delusion that has had a 
wide and enduring influence must have been founded, not on 
falsehood, but on misapprehended truth. This aphorism is 
especially applicable to Alchymy, which, in its origin, and 
even in its name, is identical with chemistry, the syllable al 
being merely the definite article of the Arabs. The researches 
of the Alchymists for the discovery of the means by which 
transmutation might be effected were naturally suggested by 
the simplest experiments in metallurgy and the amalgama- 
tion of metals ; it is very probable that the first man who 
made brass thought that he had produced imperfect gold. 

241. The Tincture. The transmutation of the base metal 
was to be effected by means of the transmuting tincture, 
which, however, was never found. But it exists for all that ; 
it is the power that turns a green stalk into a golden ear of 
corn, that fills the sour unripe apple with sweetness and 
aroma, that has turned the lump of charcoal into a diamond. 
All these are natural processes, which, being allowed to go on, 
produce the above results. Now, all base metals may be said 
to be imperfect metals, whose progress towards perfection has 
been arrested, the active power of the tincture being shut up 
in them in the first property of nature (i i). If a man could 
take hold of the tincture universally diffused in nature, and 
by its help assist the imprisoned tincture in the metal to stir 
and become active, then the transmutation into gold, or rather 
the manifestation (n) of the hidden life, could be effected. 
But this power or tincture is so subtle that it cannot possibly 


be apprehended ; yet the Alchymists did not seek the non- 
existing, but only the unattainable. 

242. Aims of Alchymy. The three great ends pursued by 
Alchymy were the transmutation of base metals into gold 
by means of the philosopher's stone ; the discovery of the 
panacea, or universal medicine, the elixir of life ; and the 
universal solvent, which, being applied to any seed, should 
increase its fecundity. All these three objects are attainable 
by means of the tincture a vital force, whose body is elec- 
tricity, by which the two latter aims have to some extent 
been reached, for electricity will both cure disease and pro- 
mote the growth of plants. Alchymy was then in the begin- 
ning the search after means to raise matter up to its first 
state, whence it was supposed to have fallen. Gold was 
considered, as to matter, what the ether of the eighth heaven 
was as to souls ; and the seven metals, each called by the 
name of one of the seven planets, the knowledge of the seven 
properties really implied being lost the Sun, gold ; Moon, 
silver ; Saturn, lead ; Venus, tin ; Mercury, iron ; Mars, 
mixed metal ; Jupiter, copper, 1 formed the ascending scale 
of purification, corresponding with the trials of the seven 
caverns or steps. Alchymy was thus either a bodily initia- 
tion, or an initiation into the mysteries, a spiritual Alchymy ; 
the one formed a veil of the other, wherefore it often hap- 
pened that in workshops where the vulgar thought the adepts 
occupied with handicraft operations, and nothing sought but 
the metals of the golden age, in reality, no other philosopher's 
stone was searched for than the cubical stone of the temple 
of philosophy ; in fine, nothing was purified but the passions, 
men, and not metals, being passed through the crucible. 
Bohme, the greatest of mystics, has written largely on the 
perfect analogy between the philosophical work and spiritual 

243. History of Alchymy. Alchymy flourished in Egypt 
at a very early age, and Solomon was said to have practised 
it. Its golden age began with the conquest of the Arabs in 
Asia and Africa, about the time of the destruction of the 
Alexandrian Library. The Saracens, credulous, and intimate 
with the fables of talismans and celestial influences, eagerly 
admitted the wonders of Alchymy. In the splendid courts 
of Almansor and Haroun al Easchid, the professors of the 
hermetic art found patronage, disciples, and emolument. 
Nevertheless, from the above period until the eleventh 

1 New arrangement : Venus, copper ; Mercury, mixed metal ; Mars, 
iron ; Jupiter, tin. 


century the only alchymist of note is the Arabian Geber, 
whose proper name was Abu Mussah Djafar al Sofi. His 
attempts to transmute the base metals into gold led him to 
several discoveries in chemistry and medicine. He was also 
a famous astronomer, but sic transit gloria mundi ! he has 
descended to our times as the founder of that jargon known 
by the name of gibberish ! The Crusaders brought the art 
to Europe; and about the thirteenth century Albertus Magnus, 
Koger Bacon, and Raymond Lully appeared as its revivers. 
Edward III. engaged John le Eouse and Master William 
de Dalby, alchemists, to make experiments before him ; and 
Henry VI. of England encouraged lords, nobles, doctors, 
professors, and priests to pursue the search after the philo- 
sopher's stone ; especially the priests, who, says the king 
(ironically?) having the power to convert bread and wine 
into the body and blood of Christ, may well convert an im- 
pure into a perfect metal. The next man of note that pre- 
tended to the possession of the lapis philosophorum was 
Paracelsus, whose proper name was Philip Aureolns Theo- 
phrastus Paracelsus Bombastus, of Hohenheim, and whom his 
followers called " Prince of Physicians, Philosopher of Fire, 
the Trismegistus of Switzerland, Reformer of Alchymistical 
Philosophy, Nature's faithful Secretary, Master of the Elixir 
of Life and Philosopher's Stone, Great Monarch of Chymical 
Secrets." He introduced the term alcahest (probably a cor- 
ruption of the German words "all geist" "all spirit"), 
to express the universal solvent. The Rosicrucians, of 
whom Dr. Dee was the herald, next laid claim to alchymis- 
tical secrets, and were, in fact, the descendants of the 
Alchymists; and it is for this reason chiefly that these 
latter have been introduced into this work, though they 
cannot strictly be said to have formed a secret society. 

24/1. Still, Alchymists formed Secret Societies. Still, in the 
dedication to the Emperor Rudolph II., prefixed to the work 
entitled Thcsaurinella Chymica-aurea tripartita, we read : 
"Given in the Imperial City of Hagenau, in the year 1607 
of our salvation, and in the reign of the true governor of 
Olympus, Angelus Hagith, anno cxcvii." The author calls 
himself Benedictus Figulus. The dedication further mentions 
a Count Bernhard, evidently one of the heads of the order, as 
having been introduced to a society of Alchymists, number- 
ing fourteen or fifteen members, in Italy. Further, Para- 
celsus is named as the monarcha of this order ; that is, the 
monarch, a local head, subject to the governor of Olympus, 
the chief of the Italian society. The author also, beside the 


usual chronology, gives a separate sectarian date; if we 
deduct cxcvii. (197) from 1607, we obtain the date 1410 as 
that of the foundation of the society. Fignlus says it 
was merged in the Eosicrucian order about the year 1607. 
Whether it was the same as that mentioned by Raymond 
Lully in his "Theatrum Chymicum," whose chief was 
called Bex Physicorum, and which existed before 1400, is 

245. Decay of Alchymy. Alchymy lost all credit in this 
country by the failure, and consequent suicide, of Dr. James 
Price, a member of the Royal Society, to produce gold, 
according to promise, the experiments to be performed in 
the presence of the Society. This occurred in 1783. But 
in 1796 rumours spread throughout Germany of the exist- 
ence of a great union of adepts, under the name of the 
Hermetic Society, which, however, consisted really of two 
members only, the well-known Karl Arnold Kortum, the 
author of the Jobsiade, and one Bahrens, though there were 
many " honorary " members. The public, seeing no results, 
though the " Society " promised much, at last took no further 
notice of the Hermetics, and the wars, which soon after 
devastated Europe, caused Alchymy to be forgotten ; though 
up to the year 1812 the higher society of Caiisruhe amused 
itself, in secret cliques, with playing at the transmutation of 
metals. The last of the English Alchymists seems to have 
been a gentleman of the name of Kellerman, who as lately 
as 1828 was living at Lilley, a village between Luton and 
Hitchin. There are, no doubt, at the present moment men 
engaged in the search after the philosopher's stone ; we 
patiently wait for their discoveries. 

246. Specimen of Alchymistic Language. After Paracelsus, 
the Alchymists divided into two classes : those that pursued 
useful studies, and those that took up the visionary fan- 
tastical side of Alchymy, writing books of mystical trash, 
which they fathered on Hermes, Aristotle, Albertus Magnus, 
and others. Their language is now unintelligible. One 
brief specimen may suffice. The power of transmutation, 
called the Green Lion, was to be obtained in the following 
manner : " In the Green Lion's bed the sun and moon are 
born ; they are married and beget a king ; the king feeds on 
the lion's blood, which is the king's father and mother, who 
are at the same time his brother and sister. I fear I betray 
the secret, which I promised my master to conceal in dark 
speech from every one who does not know how to rule the 
philosopher's fire." Our ancestors must have had a great 


talent for finding out enigmas if they were able to elicit- 
a meaning from these mysterious directions ; still, the 
language was understood by the adepts, and was only 
intended for them. Many statements of mathematical 
formulae must always appear pure gibberish to the uninitiated 
into the higher science of numbers ; still, these statements 
enunciate truths well understood by the mathematician. 
Thus, to give but one instance, when Hermes Trismegistus,. 
in one of the treatises attributed to him, directs the adept 
to catch the flying bird and to drown it, so that it fly no- 
more, the fixation of quicksilver by a combination with gold 
is meant. 

247. Personal Fate of the Alchemists. The Alchymists r 
though chemistry is greatly indebted to them, and in their 
researches they stumbled on many a valuable discovery, as a 
rule led but sad and chequered lives, and most of them died 
in the utmost poverty, if no worse fate befell them. Thus 
one of the most famous Alchy mists, Bragadino, who lived in 
the last quarter of the sixteenth century, who obtained large 
sums of money for his pretended secret from the Emperor 
of Germany, the Doge of Venice, and other potentates, who 
boasted that Satan was his slave two ferocious black dogs 
that always accompanied him being demons was at last 
hanged at Munich, the cheat with which he performed the 
pretended transmutation having been discovered. The two- 
dogs were shot under the gallows. But even the honest 
Alchymists were doomed 

" To lose good days that might be better spent, 
To waste long nights in pensive discontent ; 
To speed to-day, to be put back to-morrow, 
To feed on hope, to pine with fear and sorrow ; 
To fret their souls with crosses and with cares, 
To eat their hearts through comfortless despairs. 
Unhappy wights, born to disastrous end, 
That do their lives in tedious tendance spend ! " 



248. Parallel between Mystics and Sectaries. All secret 
societies have some connection with mysticism, secret itself, 
delighting in mystery, as the loving soul delights in 
surrounding the beloved object with mystery. Sectaries 
to some extent are the parents of mystics. The silent 
adoration of the Infinite, in which mystics delight, has its 
counterpart in the worship of progress, liberty, and truth, 
to which sectaries devote themselves. Progress, liberty, 
truth, are attributes of the highest humanitarianism. The 
mystics are the men of thought, the sectaries the men of 
action. However remote the thoughts of the former may 
seem from application to everyday life, from political strif e, 
they yet have a positive influence on human belief and will. 
The mystics behold in paradise that same ideal, transfigured, 
enlarged, and perpetuated, which the sectaries pursue on 

249. Character and Mission of Mystics. The mystics 
continue the school of ancient initiations, which to many 
nations were their only philosophy, science, and liberty. 
They are the priests of Infinity ; in their tenderness they are 
the most tolerant of men, pardoning all, even the devil ; they 
embrace all, pity all. They are, in a certain sense, the 
rationalists of prayer. By means of syntheses, trances, and 
raptures, they arrive at a pure and simple understanding of 
the supernatural, as popularly understood, which they adore 
more with their imagination and affection, than with the 
learned and sophisticated conceits of theology. Therefore 
the mystics of all creeds resemble each other; theirs is a 
region common to all religions, the universal home of the 
soul a height from which the innumerable horizons of 
conscience are seen to meet. 

250. Merits of Bohme. The prince of mystics is without 
contradiction Jacob Bohme ; in fact, compared with him, all 

other mystics sink into utter insignificance, as mere vision- 



aries, whose rhapsodies, though sometimes poetical, were 
always fantastical and useless to the world, because not 
founded on the truths of Eternal Nature. Bohme was a 
visionary, but a visionary of the stamp of Columbus ; to him 
also it was given to behold with his mental eye a hidden 
world, the world of the Properties of Eternal Nature, and to 
solve the great mystery, not of this earth alone, but of the 
universe. He was emphatically a central philosopher, who 
from his standpoint could survey the whole sphere, within 
and without, and not merely an outer segment of its shell. 
He could therefore see the causes of things, and not their 
effects only. There is, I do not deny it, much in the writings 
of Bohme that cannot be maintained or proved, much that 
appears as pure alchymistical and cabalistic reverie, the 
disease of the age in which he lived. But though he may 
often be wrong in his deductions, he is always right in 
fundamentals. And even after rejecting all that is doubtful 
or absolutely erroneous, there is left so much which science 
and experiment demonstrate to be absolutely true, that it is 
hard to remember that all this was enunciated by a man who 
had no learning and never made an experiment in his life, 
and at a time when none of the scientific truths he put forth 
were even dreamt of by scientific men. Even if he had 
made known nothing but the Seven Properties of Nature 
(il), the key to all her mysteries, he would for ever rank 
among the greatest lights of science. I confess I am at a 
perfect loss to account for this extraordinary knowledge in 
an untutored shoemaker, such as Bohme was. If there were 
any work extant, or known to have been extant before or at 
his time, in which an account of the Seven Properties was 
given, I should say, he must have copied from that, though 
this theory would still leave the original discoverer unknown ; 
but no trace either actual or traditional of any such work, or 
of the knowledge of these properties except of such as is 
implied in the universal veneration in which the number 
seven has ever been held is anywhere discoverable. True, 
Bonnie's terminology is chiefly borrowed from the alchemists, 
but not his knowledge. Whence then did he derive it ? No 
one who has studied its details can doubt of their truth. No 
one before him has put them forth. Is then intuition 
possible ? Was Bohme endowed with that gift ? This is in 
fact a greater secret than any handed down in any secret 
society, ancient or modern. Of course scientific men, as they 
are called, laugh at Bohme as a mad dreamer, just as the 
Royal Society laughed at the electric discoveries of Franklin 


he was a printer who had actually worked at the press, 
what could he know of electricity ? How could he solve a 
problem that had puzzled the most learned of their members ? 
And how can Bohme, the despised and illiterate shoemaker, 
teach the scientists of our day anything? But the fact 
remains, that in the writings of this poor cobbler lie the 
germs of all the discoveries in physical science hitherto, and 
yet to be, made. 

251. Bohme' s Influence. I am well aware that this 
assertion will again meet with the derision it has hitherto 
encountered. Yet the reader who has accompanied me thus 
far ought to pause ere he joins the laughers. He will have 
had ample proofs that I accept nothing on mere authority, 
however high it may be considered. I want proof, positive 
proof, of any alleged fact, before I accept it as fact. If, 
therefore, with this disposition on my part, and after the; 
study of Bohme's works, pursued for a number of years, 
with opportunities such as few have had for the hierophant 
that initiated me into the mysteries of the German theosopher 
was undoubtedly the most learned Bohmite in this or any 
other country ; in fact, the only man that understood him 
thoroughly if under these circumstances I entertain the 
opinions expressed in the foregoing paragraph, they cannot 
well be without foundation. But whoso is not to be convinced 
by Bohme's demonstration of the Seven Properties cannot be 
convinced by any argument. And Bohme's writings have 
not been without a deep and lasting, though latent, influence 
on modern philosophy and science. Even Newton was 
largely indebted to him. Among Sir Isaac's papers there 
were found large extracts out of Bohme's works, written 
with his own hand ; and he thence learnt that attraction is 
the first and fundamental law of nature. Of course, the 
scientific elaboration of the axiom is all Newton's own, and 
it detracts nothing from his glory that he learnt the law 
from Bohme. Newton even went further; he and Dr. 
Newton, his relative, set up furnaces, and were for several 
months hard at work in quest of the tincture so largely 
spoken of by Bohme. But the influence of this author is 
still more strikingly seen in the writings of Francis Baader, 
a German physicist of the present day, who has pursued his 
scientific inquiries by the light feebly caught, it is true, in 
his mind's mirror of Bohme's revelations. The greatest 
philosophic thinkers of this and the preceding century have 
drunk at the spring of Bohme's writings ; and the systems 
of Leibnitz, Laplace, Schelling, Hegel, Fichte, and others, 


are distinctly permeated by his spirit but none sufficiently, 
and hence no one of their systems is satisfactory. Goethe 
was well versed in Bohme, and many allusions in his writings, 
which the critics can make nothing of, may be explained by 
passages from Bohme. Thus the commentators and trans- 
lators of "Faust " have made the most ridiculous guesses as to 
the meaning to be attached to the " Mothers," to whom Faust 
is to descend in his search for Helen. The " Mothers " are 
the first three properties of nature (11), and all the instr ac- 
tions given by Mephistopheles to Faust before his descent ad 
inferos form a highly poetical, and at the same time philoso- 
phical, description of them. If scientific men, instead of 
laughing at Bohme, would study his works, we should have 
no Darwinism, no theories of the sun's refrigeration, and no 
President of the British Association propounding the mon- 
strous doctrine that life on this earth had its origin in the 
life carried hither on fragments struck off other planets and 
celestial bodies and falling on this globe a theory which, 
even could it for one moment be entertained, would still 
leave the question, " Whence came life ? " unanswered. Nor 
should we have the Huxleys and Tyndalls assuming that life 
can be put into a creature, after its material body is made, 
which is no better than assuming that a circle and its round- 
ness are two separate things that first comes the figure and 
afterwards its roundness. Bohme, whom they look upon as 
a dreamer, would show them, the real dreamers, that life 
makes the body to manifest itself ; when a growing acorn 
puts forth sprouts, it is the life creeping out, feeling its way, 
and clothing itself in matter as it goes along, and in order 
to go along. Let scientists read that magnificent chapter 
beginning with : " We see that all life is essential ; it mani- 
fests itself by the germing of the essences." What theology 
might learn from Bohme cannot be comprised in a few 
words : the vexed questions of the origin of evil, predestina- 
tion, Christ's flesh and blood which are to regenerate man, 
their nature and action, are all profoundly and pseudo- 
scientifically expounded in the writings of this author. But 
as he had no academic title, nor even common education, 
they despise him ; and yet some of these very men will put 
faith in equally illiterate spiritualists. 

252. Sketch of Bohme' s Life. Jacob Bohme was born at 
Gorlitz, in Upper Lusatia, in 1575. In his childhood he 
was engaged in tending cattle. In this solitary life and the 
constant contemplation of nature he felt himself a poet, and, 
.as he imagined, destined for great things. He saw an occult 


meaning in all the voices of the country ; and, believing that 
therein he heard the voice of God, he lent his ear to a revela- 
tion he regarded as coming from God Himself through the 
medium of nature. At the age of fifteen or sixteen he was 
apprenticed to a shoemaker at Gorlitz. The sedentary occu- 
pation increased his tendency to mysticism. Severe and 
zealous for good manners and morals, and quite wrapped up 
in himself, he was considered proud by some, and mad by 
others. And indeed, having received no education whatever, 
his ideas were necessarily confused, obscure, and disconnected. 
In 1594 he married. Though a good husband and good 
father, he did not cease from being a visionary ; and, driven 
to it by frequent dreams, which he attributed to the influence 
of the Holy Spirit, he finally decided on writing. His first 
work was the " Aurora," the best known, but the most im- 
perfect, of all his writings, both as regards style and matter. 
It brought upon him the persecution of the clergy, at whose 
instance the magistracy of Gorlitz prohibited his writing any 
more an order which he obeyed for a number of years ; but 
eventually the promptings of his spirit were no longer to be 
withstood, and he entirely gave himself up to the composi- 
tion of his numerous writings during the last six years of his 
life, in which he produced among other works the " Mysterium 
Magnum," the " Signature Rerum," the " Threefold Life," 
the "Six Theosophic Points," the "Divine Contemplation," 
the " Supersensual Life," all of which contain, amidst much 
that is incongruous, whimsical, obscure, and unintelligible, 
passages of such profound knowledge and comprehensive 
meaning that no true philosopher dares to despise them, and 
which in fact will yet be recognised as the only solid bases of 
all true science. Now and then we meet in his writings with 
passages of such poetic beauty, such lofty views of Deity and 
Nature, as surpass all the conceptions of the greatest poets 
of all ages. His works, written in German, during his life- 
time circulated only in manuscript; they were afterwards 
translated into Dutch, and from this language they were 
rendered into English. The German edition of his works, 
full of errors, did not appear until 1682. In France, St.- 
Martin, le Philosophe Inconnu, translated some of them into 
French. His greatest commentator was Dionysius Andreas 
Freher, a German, who lived many years in this country, and 
whose works, all written in English with the exception of 
two, written in German, and translated into English by the 
present writer exist only in manuscript, copies of some of 
them being in the British Museum, whilst the originals were 


in the possession of the late Mr. Christopher Walton, of 
Highgate, who, before his death, presented them, together 
with his unique collection of books and MSS. relating to 
mystical topics, including the translations made by the 
present writer, to Dr. Williams' Library, London, for 
public benefit. William Law, the learned English divine, 
who had the use of these MSS., is his greatest English com- 
mentator; his "Appeal," "Way to Divine Knowledge," 
" Spirit of Prayer," and " Spirit of Love," show how well he 
Ijad seized the leading ideas of Bohme's system. Bohme 
died in 1624, his last words being, "Now I am going into 

253. The Philadelpliians. Bohme himself never founded 
any sect. He was too much wrapt up in his glorious visions ' 
to think of gathering disciples and perpetuating his name by 
such means : like the sun, he shed his light abroad, because 
it was his nature to do so, unheedful whether it fell on rich 
or barren ground, leaving it to fructify according to its own 
inherent qualities. And the fruit is to come yet. For the 
society of the "Philadelphians," founded towards the close 
of the seventeenth century by Jane Lead, whose vain visions 
undoubtedly were the result of her study of the work of 
Bohme, never led to any results, spiritual or scientific. The 
society, in fact, only existed about seven years, and its mem- 
bers had but vague and imperfect notions of the meaning 
and tendency of the writings of their great master. 

VOL. 1. 



254. Emanuel Swedenborg. A mystic, who as yet has made 
much more noise in the world, though totally unworthy of 
being compared with Jacob Bohme for this latter has left 
to the world solid and positive scientific knowledge, founded 
on an extraordinary insight into Nature and her operations ; 
whilst the former has left it nothing but some poetical ideas, 
with a farrago of nonsensical rubbish, such as hundreds of 
confessed madmen have written is Emanuel Swedenborg. 
Still he was a man of great parts. In him were combined 
the opposite qualities of scientist, poet, and visionary. The 
desire of knowledge made him master the whole cycle of the 
sciences of his age, and when twenty-eight years old he was 
one of the most learned men of his country. In 1716 he 
visited the English, Dutch, French, and German universities. 
In 1718 he transported for Charles XII. a number of vessels 
over land from one coast to another. In 1721 he visited the 
mines of Europe, and wrote a description of them in his great 
work " Daedalus Hyperboreus." Then he gave himself up to 
theology, and unexpectedly turned to mysticism, often the 
denial of theology. He was fifty-five years old when he 
began to look within himself and to discover the wonders of 
the ideal world ; after the mines of the earth, he explored 
the depths of the soul, and in this later exploration he forgot 
science. His pretended revelations drew upon him the hatred 
of the clergy, but he enjoyed such consideration in his own 
country that they could not injure him. At the Diet of 175 1 
Count Hopken declared that the most valuable writings on 
finance proceeded from the pen of Swedenborg. A mystical 
financier was what the world had never seen, and perhaps 
will never see again. 1 He died in London. There is an 
English society which prints and circulates his works, filling 

1 Yet in the late Mr. Laurence Oliphant it again saw a character closely 
resembling that of Swedenborg the sharp, shrewd man of business and 
of the world, and the mystic. History repeats itself. 


about fifty large volumes ; and he has many followers in this 
country. He moreover made many discoveries in astronomy, 
chemistry, and medicine, and was the forerunner of Gall in 

255. His Writings and Theories. Much in his writings 
is no doubt absurd ; but still we think a sense, not at once 
apparent, but which turns nonsense into sense, may be dis- 
covered therein. Whoso attentively reads the " New Jeru- 
salem," or the " Journey to the Astral Worlds," must see 
that there is a hidden meaning in his abstruse language. 
It cannot be assumed that a man who had shown so much 
vigour of mind in his numerous works on poetry, philosophy, 
mathematics, and natural history a man who constantly 
spoke of "correspondences," wherein he attributed to the 
least thing a hidden sense a man whose learning was un- 
bounded and acute that such a man wrote without attaching 
some real meaning to his illusory language. The religion he 
professes is philanthropy, and consequently he gives to the 
abstract idea of the perfect man the name of Man-God, or 
Jesus Christ ; those who aspire to it are angels and spirits ; 
their union becomes heaven, and the opposite, hell. 

256. Rationale of Swedenborg' s Writings. From the most 
remote antiquity we meet with institutions as the foregoing 
pages have sufficiently shown ever aiming at political, reli- 
gious, and intellectual reform, but expressing their ideas by 
speaking allegorically of the other world and the life to come, 
of God and angels, or using architectural terms. This prac- 
tice, which is permanent, and permeates all secret societies, 
aims at morality in conduct, justice in government, general 
happiness and progress, but aims at all these according to 
certain philosophical ideas, viz., that all men are free and 
equal ; but understanding that these ideas, in the various 
conditions of actual society, in its different classes, and in the 
heads of government and worship, would meet with powerful 
opponents, it takes its phraseology from an imaginary world 
successfully to carry out its objects. Therefore its external 
worship resembles ours, but by the science of correspondences 
it becomes something different, which is thus expressed by 
Swedenborg : " There is in heaven a divine cultus outwardly 
similar to ours, but inwardly different. I was permitted to 
enter into the celestial temple (perhaps the lodge), where are 
shown the harmonised divinity and the deified humanity." 

257. The New Jerusalem. One of the chief conceptions of 
Swedenborg, as expounded in the "New Jerusalem," is the 
divine in the heart of every man, interpreted by humanity, 


which is one of the articles of faith of (true) Masonry. " To 
will and to do right without any interested aims, is to restore 
heaven in oneself, to live in the society of angels. The con- 
science of every man is the compendium of heaven ; all i& 
there, the conception and sanction of all duties and all rights." 
It is thus Swedenborg speaks of the mystic or sectarian life : 
" Between the good and the evil there is the same difference 
that there is between heaven and hell. Those that dwell in 
evil and error resemble hell, because the love of hell is the 
opposite of that of heaven, and the two loves hate and make 
war upon each other unto death. Man was created to live 
with the soul in the spiritual, and with the body in the natural, 
world. In every man, then, there are two individualities, the 
spiritual and the natural, the internal and the external. The 
internal man is truly in heaven, and enjoys intercourse with 
celestial spirits even during the earthly life, which is not the 
true, but only a simulated life. Man, being twofold, has two 
thoughts, the superior and the inferior, two actions, two lan- 
guages, two loves. Therefore the natural man is hypocritical 
and false, for he is double. The spiritual man is necessarily 
sincere and true, because he is simple and one ; in him the 
spirit has exalted and attracted the natural ; the external 
has identified itself with the internal. This exaltation was 
happily attained to by the ancients, who in earthly objects 
pursued their celestial correspondences." 

258. The Correspondences. He returns over and over 
again to the science of the correspondences, alluding to 
the initiations of the ancients, the true life that succeeds the 
simulated initiatory death, the mystical heaven, which to- 
the Egyptians and Greeks was nothing but the temple. " The 
science of the correspondences among the ancients was the 
highest science. The Orientals and Egyptians expressed it 
by hieroglyphics, which, having become unintelligible, gene- 
rated idolatry. The correspondences alone can open the eyes 
of the mind, unveil the spiritual world, and make that appre- 
hensible which does not come under the cognisance of the 
senses." Again he says: "I will show you what faith and 
charity are. Instead of faith and charity think of warmth 
and light, and you will understand all. Faith in its substance 
is truth, i.e., wisdom ; charity in its essence is affection, i.e., 
love. Love and wisdom, or charity and faith, the good and 
the true, form the life of God in man." In the description 
of the fields of heaven, the guiding angel perhaps the warden 
of the lodge says to Swedenborg that the things around him 
are correspondences of the angelic science, that all he sees 


plants, fruits, stones all is corresponding, just as in masonic 
lodges. As there are three degrees in life, so there are three 
heavens, and the conditions of their respective inhabitants 
correspond with those of the initiated of the three masonic 
degrees. The " New Jerusalem " may be considered also as 
a protest against the papal rule, hated by Swedenborg, as 
by all sectaries. He sought its fate in the Apocalypse, as 
formerly did the Albigenses ; and declared that the corrupt 
Roman clergy must make way for a better priesthood, and 
the decayed and idolatrous church for a new temple. To 
increase the authority of his words he adds: "What I tell 
you, I learned in heaven," probably the sectarian heaven, 
into which he had been initiated. Extracts might be multi- 
plied, but the above will suffice to show the spirit that 
animates the writings of Swedenborg; they will suffice to 
show that to enter into the hidden thoughts of most 
emblems, rites, and secret societies, it is necessary to con- 
sider the twofold, and even threefold, sense of the different 
figures. Every symbol is a mystery ; nothing is done or 
said in secret assemblies that is not worthy of scrutiny 
names, members, forms, all are indications, hints of hidden 
truths, dangerous truths, and therefore covered with double 
and triple veils. 

259. Various Swedenborgian Sects. From these writings 
arose various sects, one of them composed of men who await 
the New Jerusalem, believing in the marvellous prophecies, 
the conversations with angels, the seraphic marriages of the 
elect, and considering themselves the true disciples of Christ, 
because Swedenborg called the Sun of Mercy, which spreads 
light and warmth throughout the universe, the Saviour of 
the world. This sect has most followers in England. The 
other sects boast of possessing the greatest secrets of their 
master. Of these sects the following may be mentioned. 

260. Illuminati of Avignon. Pernetti, a Benedictine 
monk, and Gabrianca, a Polish nobleman and a Mason, were 
the first to surround with whimsical rites and ceremonies the 
knowledge and reveries of the Swedish mystic. In 1760 
they established at Avignon a society of Illuminati, not to 
be confounded with the Illuminati of Bavaria, nor with any 
other Illuminati. The city of the popes became a sectarian 
stronghold, with affiliated lodges in the chief towns of 
France. The members occupied themselves with philo- 
sophy, astronomy, and that social chemistry, which then 
subjected to a formidable examination all the elements of 
which political society is composed. 


261. Illuminated Theosophists. Paris wanted to have its 
own Swedenborgian rite, not satisfied with having introduced 
that of Pernetti The Freemason Chartanier, who in 1766 
was the master of the Parisian lodge " Socrates," modified 
the rite of Avignon, and called the new order the " Illumi- 
nated Theosophists," and after an active propaganda in 
France, crossed the Channel and opened a lodge in London, 
where at first he met with much success ; but the rite was 
soon abandoned. 

262. Philosophic Scotch Rite. Another modification of the 
Avignon rite was one introduced in 1770 by the Abbe* Per- 
netti, who was entirely devoted to alchymy. He called the 
rite the " Hermetic " rite ; but, as its name implies, it was 
more alchymistical than masonic. Boileau, a physician of 
Paris, and zealous follower of Pernetti, remodelled the Her- 
metic rite, rendered it more purely masonic, and gave it the 
name of the "Philosophic Scotch rite." The two rites were 
afterwards united into twelve degrees, the last of which is 
the " Sublime Master of the Luminous Ring," which boasted 
of being derived from Pythagoras. In 1780 an Academy of 
the Sublime Masters of the Luminous Ring was established 
in France, the initiation into which consisted of the presumed 
philosophic doctrines of the sage of Samos. 

263. Rite of the Philalethes. Another rite founded on the 
masonic speculations of Swedenborg was one invented in 
the lodge of the " United Friends," in Paris. The members, 
among whom were Condorcet and Antoine Court de Gebelin, 
the author of the "Monde Primitif," called themselves 
"Philalethes," or "Searchers after Truth," and the founder 
was Lavalette de Langes, Keeper of the Royal Treasury. 
It was divided into twelve classes or chambers ; the first six 
degrees were styled Petty, and the last six High Masonry. 
Like almost all societies founded on Masonry, the Philalethes 
endeavoured to lead man to his pristine virtue and liberty ; 
they felt the approach of the Revolution, and kept themselves 
au fait of events and aspirations. The lodge of the Amis 
Re'unis, the centre of the system, possessed a rich collection 
of works and MSS. on secret societies, a large chemical 
laboratory, a cabinet of natural history, all under the care of 
De Langes ; but at his death, in 1788, the precious collection 
was dispersed and the lodge dissolved. 

A lodge, in imitation of the above, was founded at Nar- 
bonne in 1780, but with considerable modifications. The 
brethren called themselves Philadelphians, who are not to 
be confounded with the Philadelphian Society founded in 


London about a century before, though they professed to de- 
rive their rites from England. They were divided into three 
categories or temples, and ten classes or circles. After the 
first three masonic degrees came the " Perfect Master," the 
"Elect," and the "Architect," forming the fourth. The 
fifth comprised the "Sublime Scotch," the sixth the "Knight 
of the East" and the "Prince of Jerusalem." The four 
remaining degrees were supposed to be the depositories of 
masonic knowledge, philosophical and physical, and of mystic 
science, fit to fortify and exalt the mind of man. These four 
degrees were called the first to the fourth chapters of Rose- 

264. Rite of Swederiborg. What is properly known as the 
rite of Swedenborg was another modification of the order of 
the Illuminati of Avignon (260), effected by the Marquis de 
Thome in 1783, wherein he endeavoured to restore the true 
meaning of the doctrines of the Swedish mystic. It was a 
critical labour of some value, and the rite is still practised in 
several lodges of Northern Europe. It consists of six degrees : 
Apprentice, Companion, Master Theosophite, Illuminated 
Theosophite, Blue Brother, Bed Brother. 

265. Universal Aurora. In the same year, 1783, there 
was founded in Paris the Order of the " Universal Aurora," 
whose chief object was the support of Mesmerism. Cagliostro 
took an active part in it. 


266. Martinez Paschalis. The influence of the writings 
of Jacob Bohme, though perceptible in all mystic degrees 
founded since his day, is most visible in the mystic Masonry 
called " Martinism," from its founder, Martinez Paschalis, and 
its reformer, the Marquis of St.-Martin, the " Unknown 
Philosopher." Martinez Paschalis was a Portuguese and a 
Jew, but having turned Christian after the manner of the 
Gnostics of the first centuries, he began in 1754 to assemble 
disciples in various French cities, chiefly Marseilles, Bordeaux, 
Toulouse, and Lyons, none of whom rose to the degree of 
epopt, or knew the secrets of the master, though he inspired 
all with the greatest respect and devotion towards himself. 
His secret doctrine appears to have been a confused medley 
of Gnosticism and Christianised Judaism, not excluding the 
cabala, which in fact is found more or less in all theosophic 
speculations, even in those of Bohme ; though his followers^ 
as well as his opponents, from not understanding him, have 
attributed to him many erroneous opinions which he never 
entertained. Paschalis laid great stress on the omnipotence 
of will this is a point constantly insisted on, its truth being 
demonstrated from the deepest ground, by Bohme. With 
this writer he taught that intelligence and will are the only 
active forces of nature, whose phenomena man can control 
by willing energetically ; and that man in this manner can 
rise to the knowledge of the supreme Ens. With these 
principles, Martinez condemned all empires founded on 
violence, and all societies based on convention. He longed 
for a return to the patriarchal times which the more 
enlightened, however, look upon as times of rank tyranny ; 
and he also formed other conceptions which we shall see 
more fully developed by the Illuminati. 

The life of Martinez, like his doctrines, is full of gaps and 
mysteries. He arrived in a town no one knew whence, he 
departed no one knew whither ; all at once he was seen 


where least expected. From 1768 to 1778 Paschalis resided 
either at Paris or at Lyons. Then he suddenly crossed the 
ocean, and died at St. Domingo in 1779. These sudden 
appearances and disappearances were perhaps needed to 
maintain his prestige. De Maitre, who had much inter- 
course with his disciples, states it for certain, that the Order 
founded by him, and called the " Rite of the elected Cohens 
or Priests," had superior degrees unknown to the members 
of the lower grades. We know the names of nine degrees, 
though not their rituals : they were Apprentice, Fellow- 
Craft, Master, Grand Elect, Apprentice Cohen, Fellow-Craft 
Cohen, Master Cohen, Grand Architect, Knight Commander. 
The zeal of some of the members, among whom we find 
Holbach, Duchamteau, and St.-Martin, caused the Order to 
prolong its existence some time after the death of the 

267. Saint-Martin. We have seen that St. Martin was 
a disciple of Paschalis ; he was also, for his day. a profound 
expounder of the doctrines of Bohme, some of whose works 
he translated. He to some extent reformed the rite of 
Paschalis, dividing it into ten degrees, classed in two 
temples. The first temple comprised the degrees of 
Apprentice, Fellow-Craft, Master, Ancient Master, Elect, 
Grand Architect, and Master of the Secret. The degrees 
of the second temple were Prince of Jerusalem, Knight 
of Palestine, and Knight of Kadosh. The order, as modified 
by him, extended from Lyons into the principal cities of 
France, Germany, and Russia, where the celebrated Prince 
Repnin (1734-1801) was its chief protector. It is now 


268. Merits of the Rosicrucians. A halo of poetic splendour 
surrounds the order of the Rosicrucians ; the magic lights 
of fancy play around their graceful day-dreams, while the 
mystery in which they shrouded themselves lends an 
additional charm to their history. But their brilliancy 
was that of a meteor. It just flashed across the realms 
of imagination and intellect, and vanished for ever ; not, 
however, without leaving behind some permanent and lovely 
traces of its hasty passage, just as the momentary ray of the 
sun, caught on the artist's lens, leaves a lasting image on 
the sensitive paper. Poetry and romance are deeply indebted 
to the Eosicrucians for many a fascinating creation. The 
literature of every European country contains hundreds of 
pleasing fictions, whose machinery has been borrowed from 
their system of philosophy, though that itself has passed 
away ; and it must be admitted that many of their ideas are 
highly ingenious, and attain to such heights of intellectual 
speculation as we find to have been reached by the Sophists 
of India. Before their time, alchymy had sunk down, as a 
rule, to a grovelling delusion, seeking but temporal advan- 
tages, and occupying itself with earthly dross only: the 
Rosicrucians spiritualised and refined it by giving the 
chimerical search after the philosopher's stone a nobler aim 
than the attainment of wealth, namely, the opening of the 
spiritual eyes, whereby man should be able to see the 
supernal world, and be filled with an inward light to illumine 
his mind with true knowledge. The physical process of the 
transmutation of metals was by them considered as analogical 
with man's restoration to his unf alien state, as set forth in 
Bohme's Signatura Rerum, chapters vii., x.-xii. The true 
Roscrucians, therefore, may be defined as spiritual alchy- 
mists, or Theosophists. 

269. Origin of the Society doubtful. The society is of very 

uncertain origin. It is affirmed by some writers that from 



the fourteenth century there existed a society of physicists 
and alchymists who laboured in the search after the philo- 
sopher's stone; and a certain Nicolo Barnaud undertook 
journeys through Germany and France for the purpose of 
establishing a Hermetic society. From the preface of the 
work, " Echo of the Society of the Rosy Cross," it moreover 
follows that in 1597 meetings were held to institute a secret 
society for the promotion of alchymy. Another indication 
of the actual existence of such a society is found in a book 
published in 1605, and entitled, " Restoration of the Decayed 
Temple of Pallas," which gives a constitution of Rosicrucian s. 
Again, in 1610, the notary Haselmeyer pretended to have 
read in a MS. the Fama Fraternitatis, comprising all the laws 
of the Order. Four years afterwards appeared a small work, 
entitled " General Reformation of the World," which in fact 
contains the Fama Fraterjiitatis, where it is related that a 
German, Christian Rosenkreuz, founded such a society in the 
fourteenth century, after having learned the sublime science 
in the East. Of him it is related, that when, in 1378, he 
was travelling in Arabia, he was called by name and greeted 
by some philosophers, who had never before seen him ; from 
them he learned many secrets, among others that of prolong- 
ing life. On his return he made many disciples, and died at 
the age of 150 years, not because his strength failed him, 
but because he was tired of life. In 1604 one of his 
disciples had his tomb opened, and there found strange 
inscriptions, and a MS. in letters of gold. The grotto in 
which this tomb was found, by the description given of it, 
strongly reminds us of the Mithraic Cave. Another work r 
published in 1615, the Confessio Fraternitatis Rosce Crucis, 
contains an account of the object and spirit of the Order. 

270. Rosicrucian Literature. The Thesaurinella Chymica- 
aurea, already referred to (sect. 244), may have been a 
Rosicrucian work, as also Raymwndii Lullii Theoria. In 
1615, Michael Meyer published at Cologne his Themis 
Aurea, hoc est, de legibus Fraternitatis Rosece, Crucis, which 
purported to contain all the laws and ordinances of the 
brotherhood. Another work, entitled " The Chymical Mar- 
riage of Christian Rosenkreuz," and published in 1616, in 
the shape of a comic romance, is really a satire on the 
alchymistical delusions of the author's time. Both works 
were written, as we learn from his autobiography, by 
Valentine Andrea, a Lutheran clergyman of Herrenberg, 
near Tubingen. But instead of being taken for what the 
author intended them satires on the follies of Paracelsus, 


Weigel, and the alchymists the public swallowed his fictions 
as facts : printed letters and pamphlets appeared every- 
where, addressed to the imaginary brotherhood, whilst 
others denounced and condemned it. One Christopher 
Nigrinus wrote a book to prove the Rosicruciaus were 
Calvinists, but a passage taken from one of their writings 
showed them to be zealous Lutherans. Andrea himself, in 
his "Turris Babel" and " Mythologia Christiana," published 
circa 1619, condemns Rosicrucianism. Impostors, indeed, 
pretended to belong to the fraternity, and to possess its 
secrets, and found plenty of dupes. Numerous works also 
continued to appear. Here are the titles of a few of them : 

"Epistola ad patres de Rosea Cruce." Frankfurt, 1617. 

" Quick Message to the Philosophical Society of the Rosy 
Cross." By Valentine Ischirnessus. Danzig, 1617. 

" The Whole Art and Science of the God-Illuminated 
Fraternity of Christian Rosenkreuz." By Theophilus Schweig- 
hart. 1617. 

" Discovery of the Colleges and Axioms of the Illuminated 
Fraternity of Christian Rosenkreuz." By Theophilus Schweig- 
hart. 1618. 

"De naturce secretis qiiibusdam at Vulcaniam artem chymicce 
ante omnia necessariis, addressed to the Masters of the Philo- 
sophic Fraternity of the Rosy Cross." 1618. N. P. 

" Sisters of the Rosy Cross ; or, Short Discovery of these 
Ladies, and what Religion, Knowledge of Divine and Natural 
Things, Trades and Arts, Medicines, &c., may be found 
therein." Parthenopolis, 1620. 

" The Most Secret and Hitherto Unknown Mysteries of All 
Nature." By the Collegium Rosianum. Leyd'en, 1630. 

Of course the scientific value of all these writings was nil, 
the literary scarcely more. 

271. Real Objects and Results of Andreas Writings. The 
account given in the preceding paragraph of the literary 
performances of John Valentine Andrea is the popular one. 
But certain explanations are necessary. Andrea's Rosicrucian 
writings concealed political objects, the chief of which was 
the support of the Lutheran religion, which the Rosicrucian s 
themselves followed. Andrea made two journeys to Austria 
the first in 1612, when the Emperor Mathias ascended the 
throne; and the second in 1619, a few months after the 
Emperor's death. At Linz he had private interviews with 
several Austrian noblemen, all of them Lutherans. Rosi- 
crucian lodges, to further the objects of the Reformation, 
were established, but numerous Catholics obtained admission 


to them, and gradually turned their tendencies in the very 
opposite direction. Andrea perceiving this withdrew from 
Eosicrucianism, and endeavoured by the subsequent writings,, 
mentioned above, to disavow his former connection with it. 
With the same object also he, during his second residence in 
Austria, founded the "Fraternitas Christi," to which many 
members of the Protestant Austrian nobility sought admis- 
sion. Three years after the society was prohibited by the 
Government, and its final suppression hastened by an opposi- 
tion society, founded by the Catholics, with the sanction of 
the Pope, first at Olmiitz and then at Vienna, the leaders 
being the Counts Althan, Gonzaga, and Sforza; the order 
was called that of the " Blue Cross." The Eosicrucians, being 
no longer under the influence of Andrea, broke up into a 
number of independent lodges, which quickly degenerated 
into mere traps to catch credulous dupes and their money ; 
hence the duration of most was short. But on the accession 
of Joseph II., whose liberal principles were known, the Eosi- 
crucians, as well as other secret societies, sprang into life 
again. Freemasonry became the fashion of the day, Masonic 
implements were worn as " charms; " the ladies carried muffs 
of white silk edged with blue, to represent the Mason's 
aprons, and so on. The Emperor found it necessary to 
regulate the conduct of these secret societies. He suppressed 
all except that of the Freemasons, to whom in 1785 he 
granted a patent, which began thus : " Since nothing is to 
exist in a well-regulated state without proper supervision, 
We deem it necessary thus to declare our will : The so-called 
Masonic Societies, whose secrets are unknown to us, since we 
never were curious enough to inquire into their juggleries 
(gaiwkeleien)" &c. This edict, which abolished the other 
societies, but allowed the Freemasons to continue their 
" juggleries," as the Emperor called their ceremonies, threw 
many of the suppressed societies, including the Eosicru- 
cians, into the arms of the Masonic Fraternity ; the Asiatic 
Brethren, as we shall see further on (281), transferred their 
activity from Vienna to Sleswick. 

272. Ritual and Ceremonies. The "juggleries" of the 
Eosicrucians, whom the Emperor suppressed, were those of 
the "constitution" of 1763, and as follows: The apartment 
where the initiation took place contained the tabella mystica, 
presently to be described. The floor was covered with a 
green carpet, and on it were placed the following objects : 
A glass globe, standing on a pedestal of seven steps, and 
divided into two parts, representing light and darkness ; 


three candelabra, placed triangularly ; nine glasses, sym- 
bolising male and female properties ; the quintessence, and 
various other things ; a brazier, a circle, and a napkin. 

The candidate for initiation is introduced by a brother, 
who takes him into a room where a light, pen, ink, and paper, 
sealing-wax, two red cords, and a bare sword are laid on a 
table. The candidate is asked whether he firmly intends to 
become a pupil of true wisdom. Having answered affirmatively, 
he gives up his hat and sword, and pays the fees. His hands 
having been bound, and his eyes bandaged and a red cord put 
round his neck, he is led to the door of the lodge, on which 
the introducer gently knocks nine times. The doorkeeper 
opens it and asks "Who is there ? " The hierophant answers, 
" An earthly body holding the spiritual man imprisoned in 
ignorance." The doorkeeper, "What is to be done to him?" 
The introducer, " Kill his body and purify his spirit." The 
doorkeeper, " Then bring him into the place of justice." They 
enter, place themselves in front of the circle, the candidate 
kneeling on one knee. The master stands at his right hand, 
with a white wand, the introducer at his left, holding a 
sword ; both wear their aprons. The master says, " Child of 
man, I conjure you through all degrees of profane Free- 
masonry, and by the endless circle, which comprises all 
creatures and the highest wisdom, to tell me for what pur- 
pose you have come here?" The candidate, "To acquire 
wisdom, art, and virtue." The master, " Then live ! But 
your spirit must again rule over your body ; you have found 
grace, arise and be free." He is then unbound, steps into 
the circle, the master and the introducer hold the wand and 
sword crosswise, the candidate lays three fingers thereon, and 
as soon as the master says "Now listen," the candidate 
repeats the oath propounded to him, which is simply a decla- 
ration that he will have no secrets from his brethren, and 
will lead a virtuous life. Then he is invested with the title 
of the order, the seal, password and sign, hat and sword, and 
has the mystical table interpreted to him, after which, like 
the Masons, he and the other brethren go from " labour " to 
" refreshment." 

This mystical table is divided into nine vertical and thir- 
teen horizontal compartments. The first column of nine divi- 
sions gives the numbers, the second the names of the different 
degrees. The lowest comprises the Juniores, who know next 
to nothing ; the highest the Magi, from whom nothing is 
hidden, who are masters over all things, like Moses, Hermes, 
Hyram. Their jewel is an equilateral triangle. According 


to the table, the different degrees have meeting-places all 
over Europe and Asia ; the Magi meet at Smyrna every ten, 
years ; the Magistri, a degree below, at Camra, in Poland, 
and Paris, in France, every nine years ; the Juniores every 
two years at such a place as may be most convenient. The 
admission fee to the degree of Magus is ninety-nine gold 
marks ; to that of Junior, three marks. The Minores, who 
know the "philosophical sun," and "perform marvellous 
cures," pay what they choose. 

273. Rosicrucianism in England in the Past. The works 
of Andrea excited much attention in England, where mysti- 
cism and astrology at that time had many adherents, as 
Wood's " Athene Oxonienses " fully shows. Robert Fludd in 
this country was the great champion of the Rosicrucians. 
His two most important works concerning them are "Apo- 
logia et Compendiaria Fraternitatem de Rosea Cruce suspi- 
cionis et infamise maculis aspersam, veritatis quasi Fluctibus 
abluens et abstergens." Leyden, 1616. " Tractatus Apolo- 
geticus integritatem Societatis de Rosea Cruce defendeus." 
Lugdvai Batavorum, 1617. This latter is really a duplicate 
of the former with a new title. 

Fludd was followed by one Heydon, born 1629. Strange 
to say, an attorney, who, among other works on the Rosicru- 
cians wrote "An Epologue for an Apilogue," wherein occur 
passages such as this : " I shall tell you what Rosicrucians 
are, and that Moses was their father. Some say they were 
of the order of Elias, some of Ezechiel, others define them to 
be the officers of the generalissimo of the world ; that are as 
the eyes and ears of the great king, seeing and hearing all 
things, for they are seraphically illuminated as Moses was, 
according to thi- order of the elements, earth refined to 
water, water to air, air to fire." Such gibberish as this was 
served up for the reading public some centuries ago, and, I 
suppose, satisfied them. In another of his works Heydon 
maintained that it was criminal to eat though he did not 
abstain from the practice himself but that there was a fine 
fatness in the air quite sufficient for nourishment, and that 
for men of very voracious appetites, it was enough to place a 
cataplasm of cooked meat on the epigastrium to satisfy their 


In 1646 Elias Ashmole, William Lilly, Dr. Thomas 
Wharton, George Wharton, Dr. J. Hewitt, Dr. J. Pearson, 
and others formed a Rosicrucian society in London, practi- 
cally to carry out the scheme propounded in Bacon's " New 
Atlantis," that is, the erection of the House of Solomon. It- 
was to remain as unknown as the island of Bensalem, that 
is to say, the study of nature was to be pursued esoterically, 
not exoterically. The carpet in their lodge represented the 
pillars of Hermes ; seven steps, the first four of which sym- 
bolised the four elements, and the other three salt, sulphur, 
and mercury, led to an " exchequer," or higher court, or 
stage, on which were displayed the symbols of creation, or 
of the work of the six days. Some of the members of this 
society were Freemasons, hence they were enabled to hold 
their meetings in Masons' Hall, Masons' Alley, Basinghall 
Street. They kept nothing secret except their signs. 

274. Origin of Name. The name is generally derived, 
from the supposed founder of the order, Rosenkreuz, 
Rose Cross ; but according to others, it is taken from the 
armorial bearings of the Andrea family, which were a St. 
Andrew's cross and four roses. Others again, modern writers, 
say it is composed of ros, dew, and crux, the cross ; crux is 
supposed mystically to represent LVX, or light, because 
the figure X exhibits the three letters ; and light, in the 
opinion of the Rosicrucians, produces gold ; whilst dew, ros, 
with the (modern) alchymists, was a powerful solvent. But 
Mr. Waite, in his " Real History of the Rosicrucians ' r 
(London, 1887), argues with much force, that the Rosi- 
crucians bore the rose and cross as their badge because they 
were ardent Protestants, to whom Martin Luther was an idol, 
prophet, and master, and the device on the seal of Martin 
Luther was a cross-crowned heart rising from the centre of 
a rose. The theory has much in its favour, but we cannot 
quite set aside the fact that in all mystical systems the rose and 
the cross have always been emblems of paramount importance. 
We meet with them in the most ancient Hindu mythology. 
Lackschemi, the wife of Vishnu, was found in a rose with 
1 08 leaves, whence the Indian rosary has the same number 
of beads, and to the Hindus the cross was the symbol of 
creation. We have already seen in the account of the 
Eleusinian Mysteries what importance was attached to the 
rose, and that Apuleius makes Lucius to be restored to his 
primitive form by eating roses ; and the " Romance of the 
Rose" was considered by the Rosicrucians as one of the most 
perfect specimens of Provencal literature, and as the alle- 

VOL. I. P 


gorical chef d'osuvre of their sect. It is undeniable that this 
was coeval with chivalry, and had from thenceforth a litera- 
ture rich in works, in whose titles the word Rosa is incor- 
porated ; as the Rosa P/iilosophorum, of which no less than 
ten occur in the Artis Auriferce quam Chemiam vocant 
(Basilea, 1610). The connection of the Eosicrucians with 
chivalry, the Troubadours, and the Albigenses, cannot be 
denied. Like these, they swore the same hatred to Eome ; 
like these, they called Catholicism the religion of hate. They 
solemnly declared that the Pope was Antichrist, and rejected 
pontifical and Mahomedaii dogmas, styling them the beasts 
of the East and West. 

275. Statements concerning themselves. They pretended to 
feel neither hunger nor thirst, nor to be subject to age or 
disease ; to possess the power of commanding spirits, and 
attracting pearls and precious stones, and of rendering them- 
selves invisible. They stated the aim of their society to be 
the restoration of all the sciences, and especially of medicine ; 
and by occult artifices to procure treasures and riches 
sufficient to supply the rulers and kings with the necessary 
means for promoting the great reforms of society then needed. 
They were bound to conform to five fundamental laws : 
I. Gratuitously to heal the sick. 2. To dress in the costume 
of the country in which they lived. 3. To attend every 
year the meeting of the Order. 4. When dying to choose a 
successor. 5. To preserve the secret one hundred years. 

276. Poetical Fictions of Rosicrucians. These are best 
known from the work of Joseph Francis Borri, a native of 
Milan, and it is to them the " poetic splendour which surrounds 
the Order," which, in fact, gave real existence to it, is due. 
Having preached against the abuses of the Papacy, and pro- 
mulgated opinions which were deemed heretical, Borri was 
seized by order of the Inquisition and condemned to perpetual 
imprisonment. He died in the Castle of St Angelo in 1695. 
The work referred to is entitled " The Key of the Cabinet of 
Signer Borri," and is, in substance, nothing but the cabalistic 
romance entitled "The Count de Gabalis," published in 1670 
by the Abbe de Villars. What we gather from this work is, 
that the Kosicrucians discarded for ever all the old tales of 
sorcery and witchcraft and communion with the devil. They 
denied the existence of incubi and succubi, and of all the 
grotesque imps monkish brains had hatched and superstitious 
nations believed in. Man, they said, was surrounded by 
myriads of beautiful and beneficent beings, all anxious to do 
him service. These beings were the elemental spirits ; the 


air was peopled with sylphs, the water with undines or naiads, 
the earth with gnomes, and the fire with salamanders. These 
the Eosicrucian could bind to his service, and imprison in a 
ring, a mirror, or a stone, and compel to appear when called, 
and render answers to such questions as he chose to put. All 
these beings possessed great powers, and were unrestrained 
by the barriers of space or matter. But man was in one 
respect their superior : he had an immortal soul, they had not. 
They could, however, become sharers in man's immortality, 
if they could inspire one of that race with the passion of love 
towards them. On this notion is founded the charming story 
of " Undine ; " Shakespeare's Ariel is a sylph ; the " Rape of 
the Lock," the Masque of " Comus," the poem of " Sala- 
mandrine," all owe their machinery to the poetic fancies of the 
Rosicrucians. Among other things they taught concerning 
the elemental spirits, they asserted that they were composed 
of the purest particles of the element they inhabited, and 
that in consequence of having within them no antagonistic 
qualities, being made of but one element (n), they could 
live for thousands of years. The Rosicrucians further held 
the doctrine of the signatura rerum, by which they meant 
that everything in this visible world has outwardly impressed 
on it its inward spiritual character. Moreover, they said that 
by the practice of virtue man could even on earth obtain a 
glimpse of the spiritual world, and above all things discover 
the philosopher's stone, which, however, could not be found 
except by the regenerate, for "it is in close communion with 
the heavenly essence." According to them the letters INRI, 
the sacred word of the Order of Rose Croix, signified Igne 
Natura Regenerando Integrat. 

277. The Hague Lodge. In the year 1622, Montanus, or, 
by his real name, Ludwig Conrad, of Bingen, was expelled 
from an order of Rosicrucians which then existed at The 
Hague, where they had a grand palace. They held their 
meetings by order of the master, called " imperator," in 
great cities, such as Amsterdam, Danzig, Nuremberg, Ham- 
burg, Mantua, Venice, besides such as were held at The 
Hague. They publicly wore a black silk cord, but at their 
meetings they put on a gold band, to which were attached a 
golden cross and rose. Their card of membership was a 
large parchment, with many seals affixed with great cere- 


mony. When holding a public procession, they carried a 
small green flag. This Montanus, who wrote a book entitled 
" Introduction to the Hermetic Science," says, that he spent 
his patrimony and his wife's fortune, of eleven thousand 
dollars, for the benefit of the society, and that when he was 
totally impoverished he was expelled, being, however, bound 
over to keep their secrets, "which latter, indeed, I kept, as 
women do not reveal anything where there is nothing to 
reveal." These pretended secrets are supposed to be con- 
tained in a book entitled " Sinceri Renati Theophilosophia 
Theoretico-practica," but I have not been able to obtain or 
see a copy of this work. The society is supposed to have 
become extinct at the beginning of the eighteenth century. 

278. A Rosicrucian MS. According to a statement made 
by Dr. von Harless in his "Jacob Bohme and the Alchy mists" 
(2nd ed., Leipzic, 1882), a society of Rosicrucians must have 
existed in Germany in the year 1641. Dr. von Harless says, 
"I have recently had an opportunity of inspecting a Rosi- 
crucian MS. hitherto unknown. It was probably written 
about 1765, and contains the statutes of an order of Rosi- 
crucians, with the title Tcstamentum. The original must 
date from the middle of the seventeenth century, as is proved 
by a special warning given to members to observe secrecy, 
especially towards Roman Catholic ecclesiastics, two members 
having, from not attending to this caution, been great 
sufferers in 1641. The MS., besides the statutes, also con- 
tains instructions for alchymistic operations. The Order, 
according to the MS., had one chief, called imperator ; its 
chief seats were Ancona, Nuremberg, Hamburg, and Amster- 
dam. The members were to change their residence every 
ten years, and maintain the greatest secrecy as to their 
existence. The apprenticeship lasted seven years. Their 
mode of addressing one another was : ave f rater ; the answer : 
rosece et aurece. The first : crucis ; then both together : Bene- 
dictus Deus qui dedit nobis signum. Then the mutual pro- 
duction of the signum, consisting of an engraved seal, a 
specimen of which was also shown to Dr. von Harless." 

On taking steps to obtain further particulars from Dr. von 
Harless himself, I learnt to my regret that he had died in 
1878 ; and as he had given no intimation in the above-named 
works where the MS. is deposited, I am unable to report 
further thereon. But it would seem that the society referred 
to in the MS. was the same as the one spoken of in the 
" Thesaurinella," mentioned towards the end of sect. 244. 

279. New Rosicrucian Constitution. In 1714. or one 


hundred years after Andrea's writings, there appeared a new 
Kosicrucian constitution, entitled, "The True and Perfect 
Preparation of the Philosopher's Stone of the Brotherhood of 
the Golden and Rosy Cross. Published for the benefit 
Filiorum Doctrinw by Sincero Renato, Breslau." The preface 
stated that the treatise was not the writer's work, but in- 
trusted to him by a professor of the art, whom he was not 
allowed to name. The author divides the work into practica 
ordinis minoris and practica ordinis majoris, indicating the 
division of the Order into two distinct fraternities, the 
superior one being known as the " Brethren of the Golden 
Cross," their symbol being a red cross, and the inferior one 
.as the " Brethren of the Rosy Cross," their symbol being a 
green cross, from which it is evident that the real work of 
the Order was alchymy. Each brother, on being initiated, 
dropped his real name, and assumed a fictitious one, as we 
have seen that Ludwig Conrad was known in the Order as 
Montanus (277), and as hereafter we find the Illuminati 
assume all kinds of fancy names. Renato's book further 
states that the Order possessed large seminaries, as the above- 
named Montanus had asserted. Article 42 of the statutes 
prohibited the reception of married men into the Order ; in 
Article 17 members who wished to marry were allowed to 
take wives, but were to live with them pliilosopliice, whatever 
that may have meant. Article 44 enjoined that if a brother 
should, by misfortune or want of caution, be discovered by 
any potentate, he was rather to die than reveal the secrets 
of the Order. 

280. The Duke of Saxe- Weimar and oilier Rosicrucians. 
The first modern writer who openly professed himself a Rosi- 
er ucian was Duke Ernest Augustus of Saxe- Weimar, who 
in 1742 published his "Theosophic Devotions " in a small 
edition, copies of which are easily recognised by their red 
morocco binding and the ducal crown and cipher on the 
cover. In it he refers to the "last great union of brethren," 
and, according to the vignette at the end of the book, he 
must mean Rosicrucians. 

We hear of a society of Rosicrucians founded by Free- 
masons, whose " General Constitutions " were settled in 
1763; they were based on the "Themis Aurea" of Michael 
Maier, who had been physician-in-ordinary and alchymist 
to the Emperor Rudolph (1576-1612). This revived 
taste was taken advantage of by many adventurers. 
John George Schroepfer, who kept a coffee-house at 
Nuremberg in 1777, established at his house a lodge, and 


made so much pretence to secret and exclusive knowledge, 
that the Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick and the Duke of 
Courland by whose order Schroepfer had once been flogged 
invited him to Dresden, where they openly patronised him, 
while he deluded them with the apparitions of ghosts and 
magical phantasma really produced by magic-lanterns and 
concave mirrors. But his conduct eventually so disgusted 
his patrons that they refused him further supplies of money,, 
whereupon he shot himself in a wood near Leipzic. 

But this vulgar cheat left credulous disciples behind. John 
Rudolph Bischofswerder (1741-1803), a major, and afterwards 
Prussian Minister of War, who had almost been a witness of 
Schroepfer's death, and John Christopher Wollner (1732- 
1800), a clergyman, and afterwards Prussian Minister of 
Public Cult, continued what Schroepfer had started. Under 
the patronage of the Crown Prince, Frederick William of 
Prussia, the nephew of Frederick the Great, whom he suc- 
ceeded in 1786 as King Frederick William II., established 
at Berlin a Rosicrucian lodge, and the enlightened views 
which had been introduced by, and had prevailed during 
the reign of, old Fritz were quickly suppressed by religious 
persecution. At that time Bahrdt had considerable suc- 
cess with his resuscitated order of Illuminati. The two 
highly-placed rogues saw in this plebeian a man who might 
some day compete with them for the king's favour ; so whilst 
they, in league with his mistress, the Countess Lichtenau, 
more than ever amused their silly royal patron with the 
calling up of ghosts and drunken orgies, they induced him 
to put forth the notorious Religious Edict of 1788, 
which was to stem the ungodly advances of the Illuminati, 
and which also restored the censorship of the Press. The 
book (in German), entitled " The Rosicrucian in his Naked- 
ness," published by Master "Pianco," an ex-member of the 
society, in 1782, was a violent attack and expos6 of the 
Rosicrucians ; but the delusion continued to flourish. 


281. Origin of the Order. This Order originated probably 
about the year 1780, though its chiefs were not known in 
1788; it was, however, suspected that Baron Ecker and 
Eckhofen was one of them. He resided at first at Vienna, 
but afterwards settled at Sleswick ; he distinguished himself 
by his writings, but the superstitious proclaimed him a ter- 
rible Cacomagus. The order spread from Italy to Russia. 
Its basis was Rosicrucian, its meetings were called Melchise- 
deck lodges, and Jews, Turks, Persians, and Armenians might 
be received as members. The masters were called the Wor- 
shipful Chiefs of the Seven Churches of Asia. The full title 
of the Order was, " Order of the Knights and Brethren of 
St. John the Evangelist from Asia in Europe." The teaching 
of the Order was partly moral, that is to say, it instructed 
how to rule spirits, by breaking the seven seals ; and partly 
physical, by showing how to prepare miraculous medicines 
and to make gold. It inculcated cabalistic nonsense, and 
was greatly detested by Rosier ucians and Freemasons two 
of a trade cannot agree. The names of the degrees were 
taken from the Hebrew, and were symbolical of their charac- 
teristics. The Order did not profess Rosicrucianism, yet in 
the Third Chief Degree the members were styled "True Rosi- 
crucians." The results of the scientific researches of the 
masters were not communicated to aspirants; these had to 
discover them as they could. The fact seemed to be that 
the masters had nothing to communicate, but this admission 
would have been fatal to the Order ; its secrets appearing to 
exist in the credulity of outsiders only. 

282. Division of this Order. The Order was divided into 
five degrees, viz., two probationary and three chief degrees. 
The first probationary degree, that of the " Seekers," never 
consisted of more than ten members. The period of proba- 
tion was fourteen months. They had lectures delivered to 
them every fortnight, and the costume they wore at their 



meetings consisted of a round black hat with black feathers, 
a black cloak, a black sash with three buttons in the shape of 
roses, white gloves, and sword with a black tassel, a black 
ribbon, from which was suspended a double triangle, which 
symbol was also embroidered on the left side of the cloak. 

The second probationary degree, consisting of ten members, 
was called that of the " Sufferers." Its duration was seven 
months. Whilst the " Seekers " were theorists only, the 
"Sufferers" were supposed to make practical researches in 
physical science. They wore round black hats with black 
and white feathers, black cloaks with white linings and 
collars, on which double triangles were embroidered in gold, 
black sashes with white edging and three rosettes, white 
gloves, and swords with black and white tassels. 

The First Chief Degree styled its members " Knights and 
Brother-Initiates from Asia in Europe." They wore round 
black hats with white, black, yellow, and red feathers, black 
cloaks with white linings and collars and gold lace ; on the 
left breast of the cloak there was a red cross with four green 
roses, having in their centre a green shield with the mono- 
gram M and A. The same cross, of gold, and enamelled, 
was worn on a red ribbon ; the member further wore a pink 
sash round the body edged with green and with three red 
roses, white gloves with a red cross and four green roses ; 
the tassels of the swords displayed the four colours of the 

283. Initiation into this Degree. On the reception of a 
" Sufferer" into this degree he was led into a room hung 
with black ; the floor and furniture were covered with black 
cloth. The room was lit up with seven golden candlesticks, 
six of which had five branches each, whilst the seventh, 
standing in the centre, represented a human figure in a 
white dress and golden girdle. The chair of the master 
stood in the centre of the room on a dais of three steps, 
under a square black canopy ; the back wall was partly open, 
but held back with seven tassels, and behind it was the 
Holiest of Holies, consisting of a balustrade of ten columns, 
on the basement of which was a picture of the sun in a tri- 
angle, surrounded by the divine fire. Under the centre 
candlestick was the carpet of the three masonic degrees, 
surrounded by nine lights, a tenth light standing a little 
further off at the foot of the throne. There stood, on the 
right, a small table, on which were placed a flaming sword, 
with the number 56 engraved thereon, and a green rod, with 
two red ends ; to the left lay the Book of the Law. 


The " Sufferer," being then in an adjoining room, was 
asked three times if he desired to be initiated. His answer 
being in the affirmative, the Grand Master ordered him to be 
introduced, after having read the inscription on a red shield 
in letters of gold over the door: "Here is the Door of the 
Eternal ; the just enter here." The introducer then rang a 
bell twice, the Grand Master rang once, and the door was 
opened. The candidate stepped up to the table, and thrice 
made the Master's sign. He was then told that he was 
accepted, and had to sign an obligation never to reveal the 
secrets of the Chapter. After a few other childish cere- 
monies he was led to the Table of Purification, on which 
stood three lights on as many columns. The one represented 
a man with the triangle, the other a woman with the tri- 
angle reversed ; the central one a man with a double triangle. 
In the centre of the table stood a crystal cup, filled with 
water, in which salt had been dissolved, another cup with 
salt, a spoon, a bundle of cedar-wood bound with hyssop and 
pink and green silk. The candidate had his coat and waist- 
coat taken off, the collar of his shirt opened, and his right 
arm bared. Having knelt down, the Grand Master sprinkled 
his neck thrice with the water, saying, " May the Merciful 
One give thee the knowledge of thy weapons, of thy lance, 
and of the number Four [which with Kosicrucians is the 
root and beginning of all numbers]. Then touching his 
right arm he said, " May the Almighty give thee strength 
in battle ; " and touching his breast, " May the Just One give 
thee as a conqueror rest in the centre." The "Sufferer" 
was then dressed again, the Grand Master opened the 
Holiest of Holies, and the candidate having taken the oath, 
the Grand Master dubbed him a Knight. Touching his 
right shoulder he said, "May the Infinite give thee 
strength, beauty, and wisdom for the fight ; " and touching 
the left shoulder, "We receive thee, in the name of the 
most worshipful and wisest seven Fathers and Rulers of the 
seven Unknown Churches in Asia, as a Knight and 
initiated Brother." Touching him on the head, he said, 
" May the Eternal One give thee the light of the number 
Four, and thou shalt be delivered from the Eternal Death." 
Then there ensued mutual embracing, a little more speechi- 
fying by the Grand Master, and then the servants brought 
in salt, bread, wine, lamb and pork, the latter being sym- 
bolical of the Old and the New Covenant ! 

284. Second Chief Degree, Wise Masters. This degree could 
only be obtained from the Sanhedrim, which constituted the 


highest authority, for in this degree began the revelation of 
secrets. What they were has never become known to out- 
siders. We may assume them to have been wonderful, con- 
sidering the wonderful costume the knights were entitled to 
wear in this degree, viz., a red hat with stripes of the four 
different colours mentioned, in a red cloak, with a green cross 
and roses, having in their centre the monogram J and C 
embroidered in gold on a red field ; the same cross in gold, 
and enamelled in the same four colours, attached to a green 
ribbon, edged with red, and three green roses ; white gloves, 
decorated with red crosses and green roses inside and out ;. 
sword, with green and red tassel. 

285. Third Chief Degree, or Royal Priests, or True Rosi- 
crucians, or the Degree of Melchisedeck. This degree also could 
be obtained from the Sanhedrim only. The number of its 
members was restricted to seventy-two. Solomon in all his- 
glory was nothing compared with the True Eosicrucians in 
their official costume. Here it is: a hat, gold, pink, and 
green, the brim turned up in front, and the name Jehovah 
embroidered thereon in gold, and surmounted with white, 
red, yellow, black, and green feathers ; a long pink under- 
garment, fitting closely to the body, the cuffs of the sleeves 
being made of materials similar to those composing the 
hat, as also the sash, worn round the waist, whereon were 
embroidered three roses, one white, one red, and the centre 
one the colours of the sash ; the stockings or hose and shoes 
were of pink silk. The cloak consisted of materials similar 
to those of the hat, and was lined with green ; on the left 
breast was seen a point with many rays issuing from it. 
Round the neck the knight wore a gold chain, having alter- 
nately between the ordinary links shields with the mono- 
grams M and A and J and C, and the representation of a 
tree, having on the right hand a man, and on the left a 
woman, who with one hand cover the pudenda, and touch 
the tree with the other ; to the end of the chain the Urim 
and Thummini were attached. White gloves, decorated with 
green and red roses within and without, completed this gor- 
geous apparel. 

286. Organisation of the Order. The Sanhedrim exercised 
the highest authority, which it could delegate to committees 
appointed from among its members. The authority next 
under the Sanhedrim was the General Chapter, after which 
came the Provincial Chapters. All these various depart- 
ments had every one their own officials, with high-sounding 
titles, which need not be given here the reader will find 


enough of them among the Freemasons ; but on reading a 
list of them, one cannot help exclaiming 

" And every one is Knighted, 
And every one is Grand ; 
Who would not be delighted 
To join in such a band ? " 

But to join in this band was somewhat expensive ; the Order 
was a fee- trap of no mean order, something like a few of the 
spurious degrees in Masonry. On his initiation into the 
order of the Asiatic Brethren the candidate paid a fee of two 
ducats ; when he took it into his head to found a Master 
Lodge, he had to pay seven ducats for the privilege, and two 
ducats for the carpet; for every folio of the Rules of the 
Lodge, ten kreuzer, or about twopence-halfpenny. The foun- 
dation of a Superior Master Lodge cost twelve ducats ; of a 
Provincial Chapter, twenty -five ducats ; of a General Chapter, 
fifty ducats. Every Brother paid to the Superior Master a 
monthly contribution of eightpence, and for extraordinary 
expenses and correspondence a fee proportionate to hi& 
means on the days of John the Baptist and John the Evan- 
gelist. These fees and subscriptions must annually have 
amounted to a goodly sum. What became of it? Rolling, 
a member, in 1787, published the laughable secrets of the 

287. Rosicrucian Adventurers. In 1781 there appeared at 
Vienna "An Address to the Rosicrucians of the Ancient 
System." The Order seems to have been revived about that 
time by Fraxinus evidently a fictitious name who was Pro- 
vincial Grand Master of the four united Masonic Lodges at 
Hamburg. The Masons did not know that Fraxinus was a 
Rosicrucian, but he evidently knew how to fleece his dupes. 
We learn from one Cedrinus, who was a member of one of 
the Hamburg lodges, that for the initiation into the Rosi- 
crucian degrees he was by instalments mulcted in the sum of 
nearly 150 dollars. When Cedrinus began to express dis- 
satisfaction at these continual extortions, Fraxinus, to quiet 
him, made Cedrinus keeper of the Great Seal of the Ham- 
burg lodges. This gave the latter an opportunity of gaining 
an insight into the way in which degrees were manufactured, 
and how Masonry was corrupted by them. He fell out with 
Fraxinus, and everywhere proclaimed the machinations of the 
Rosicrucians. Fraxinus expelled him as a perjured brother. 

Another Rosicrucian who obtained notoriety at about the 
same time was Brother Gordianus, who resided at Tubingen. 


He was supposed to be a Rosicrucian and an alchymist, since 
he lived well without having any visible means of subsistence. 
A schoolmaster, known by the initial L. only, had long desired 
to become a Rosicrucian ; he consequently paid Gordianus a 
visit, who informed him, amongst other matters, that the 
object of the Order was to carry out the intentions of Valen- 
tine Andrea ; that certain conditions were imposed on every 
member, viz., eternal silence on all concerning the Order, the 
introduction within six weeks of another member, to show 
that he was capable of winning the confidence of his fellow- 
men, and the payment of an initiation fee of fifty dollars. 
The poor schoolmaster after a time raised the money, and 
received the subjoined receipt, on a small blue card : 


TETTAra Keceptionis in minum Gradum 
Ordinis Philosophorum incogritorum, Fratr. 
A. LL et R.C. Systematis antiquioris. 

A 4077. s. 8 I. GORDIAXUS 

M.L-3 I C. Fr. Inspector 

-l-g.- + -b Circuli II. 

On the back of the card was the following : 

Praevia sancta promissione religiosae. 
Ad impletionis Articuli fundamentals. 
I. et II. et rite ad impleto 
Articulo III. 

Gordianus then proposed to L. that he should translate 
hermetical and magical writings from Latin into German, 
which L. did. Gordianus published these translations in a 


periodical he was then the editor of, without, however, re- 
munerating L., but keeping his faith alive by repeated pro- 
mises shortly to introduce him to the heads of the Order, 
who would communicate to him great and valuable secrets. 
But it seems L. became impatient. He and friends of hi& 
made inquiries, and ascertained that Gordianus had boasted 
that he intended to form a society of cheats and dupes. One 
of L.'s friends charged Gordianus with it. The latter, in 
1785, in writing to L. tried to justify himself, but eventually 
disappeared from Tubingen, when L. made known the above 
facts as a warning to others. 

288. Theoretical Brethren. According to the book, " The 
Theoretical Brethren, or Second Degree of Rosicrucians," 
published in 1785, the Rosicrucian ritual was as follows: 

The candidate must have been initiated into the Scotch 
rite ; he is led into a large room lighted with candelabra ; at 
the upper end is a square with a black cloth, on which lie an 
open Bible, the Laws of the Order, and a black embroidered 
apron. On the carpet there is a globe, surrounded by two 
rings ; from the outer one rays proceed into a circle of cloud, 
in which are seen the seven planets. A cubical stone is 
placed above Mars, and the Blazing Star above the globe. 
An unhewn stone stands opposite to Saturn. The planets 
promote the growth of the seven metals ; the Blazing Star 
represents Nature ; the two circles typify the agens and 
patiens, the male and female principles. The unhewn stone 
is the materia prima philosophorum ; the cubical stone, the 
patiens philosophorum. The globe signifies the lodge. The 
oath is confined to promising fidelity to the Order, secrecy and 
devotion to the study of nature. The apron is white lined 
with black, and embroidered. The jewel is of gilt brass, and 
consists of two triangles with rays issuing therefrom, the 
name of Jehovah in Hebrew letters, and on the reverse the 
signs (S> ? $ It is attached to a black ribbon. 

Sign : raising the right hand, with the thumb and two fore- 
fingers extended, which is answered by placing the thumb 
and two fore-fingers on the heart. The grip is given by 
taking the brother with the right hand round the waist. The 
word is Chaos. In Hamburg the initiation fee was forty gold 
marks, about ,23 ; monthly contributions amounted to about 
eighteen shillings. There are nine degrees. We need not 
go through the whole of them ; a few may suffice. 

The third degree is called Bracheus, in which the word is 
Majim, the answer to which is Brocha. The next degree 
is that of PJiilosophus ; the word, Ruachhiber ; initiation fee, 


about twenty dollars. There is a ninth degree, the initiation 
fee to which is ninety-nine gold marks, for which the member 
becomes a true Magus, knowing all the secrets of nature, 
with power over all angels, devils, and men ; the philosopher's 
stone is the least of his possessions. 

289. Spread of JRosicrucianism. These Rosicrucians assert 
that they had lodges in various countries. Vienna, according 
to their statements, was the seat of the Grand Master of 
the eighth degree ; 1 Konigsberg, Stettin, Berlin, and Danzig, 
meeting places of the Brethren of the fifth degree ; at Breslau 
and Leipzic the Brethren of the fourth degree assembled ; 
at Hamburg the Brethren of the sixth degree had a lodge, 
which cost nine thousand marks. The Order, moreover, had 
lodges at Nuremberg, Augsburg, Innsbruck, Prague, Paris, 
Venice, Naples, Malta, Lisbon, Bergen-op-Zoom, Cracow, 
Warsaw, Basle, Zurich in Europe, and at Smyrna and 
Ispahan in Asia. The sect was also known in Sweden and 
Scotland, where it had its own traditions, claiming to be 
descended from the Alexandrian priesthood of Ormuzd, who 
embraced Christianity in consequence of the preaching 
of St. Mark, founding the society of Ormuzd, or of the 
" Sages of Light." This tradition is founded on the Mani- 
chgeism preserved among the Coptic priests, and explains the 
seal impressed on the ancient parchments of the Order, 
representing a lion placing his paw on a paper, on which is 
written the famous sentence, " Pax tibi, Marce Evangelista 
tneus, " from which we might infer that Venice had some 
-connection with the spreading of that tradition. In fact, 
Nicolai tells us that at Venice and Mantua there were Rosi- 
crucians, connected with those of Erfurt, Leipzic, and 
Amsterdam. And we also know that at Venice congresses of 
Alchy mists were held; and the connection between these latter 

1 A somewhat curious fact may be mentioned here : The Kosicrucians 
generally adopted sidereal or alchynristic pseudonyms. In the seventeenth 
century, under the Emperor Ferdinand III., one John Konrad Eichtbausen 
came to Vienna. He was a Kosicrucian, and as such bore the name of 
Chaos, and eventually was ennobled as Herr von Chaos. In 1663 he 
erected an institution for the sons of poor or deceased parents. When, 
three years after, the Plague raged in Vienna and attacked some of the 
youths in the institution, the executors of Richthausen's will the 
testator having died quickly erected in the district of Mariahilf, almost 
in the centre of Vienna, another building, to separate the youths attacked 
by the disease from the others. Gradually the building was enlarged, so 
that in 1773 it could receive 145 pupils. It was known as the Chaos 
Foundation (Chaosische Stiff). In 1752 the Empress Maria Theresa pur- 
chased the house for a military academy, which purpose it still serves ; 
but it continues to be called the Stift, and the street facing it is still 
called the Stiftyasse. 


and the Rosicrucians has already been pointed out. Never- 
theless the Scotch and Swedish Rosicrucians called them- 
selves the most ancient, and asserted Edward, the son of 
Henry III., to have been initiated into the Order in 1191, 
by Raymond Lully, the alchymist. The Fraternity of the 
Rosy Cross is still flourishing in England (see 293). 

290. Transition to Freemasons. From the Templars and 
Rosicrucians the transition to the Freemasons is easy. With 
these latter alchymy receives a wholly symbolical explana- 
tion ; the philosopher's stone is a figure of human perfectibility. 
In the Masonic degree called the " Key of Masonry/' or 
" Knight of the Sun," and the work " The Blazing Star," by 
Tschudi, we discover the parallel aims of the two societies. 
From the "Blazing Star" I extract the following portion of the 
ritual : " When the hermetic philosophers spe*ak of gold and 
silver, do they mean common gold and silver?" "No, be- 
cause common, gold and silver are dead, whilst the gold and 
silver of the philosophers are full of life." " What is the 
object of Masonic inquiries ? " " The art of knowing how to 
render perfect what Nature has left imperfect in man." "What 
is the object of philosophic inquiry?" "The art of know- 
ing how to render perfect what Nature has left imperfect in 
minerals, and to increase the power of the philosopher's stone." 
" Is it the same stone whose symbol distinguishes our first 
degrees ? " " Yes, it is the same stone which the Freemasons 
seek to polish." So also the Phrenix is common to Hermetic 
and Masonic initiation, and the emblem of the new birth of 
the neophyte. Now, we have already seen the meaning of this 
figure, and its connection with the sun. We might multiply 
comparisons to strengthen the parallelism between hidden arts 
and secret societies, and trace back the hermetic art to the 
mysteries of Mithras, where man is said to ascend to heaven 
through seven steps or gates of lead, brass, copper, iron, 
bronze, silver, and gold. 

291. Progress and Extinction of Rosicrucians. After 
having excited much attention throughout Germany, the 
Rosicrucians endeavoured to spread their doctrines in France, 
but with little success. In order to attract attention, they 
in 1623 secretly posted certain notices in the streets of Paris, 
to this effect : " We, the deputies of the College of the Rosy 
Cross, visibly and invisibly dwell in the city. We teach 
without books or signs every language that can draw men 
from mortal error," &c. &c. A work by G abriel Naudd gave 
them the final blow. Peter Mormio, not having succeeded 
in reviving the society in Holland, where it existed in 1622, 


published at Ley den in 1630, a work entitled "Arcana 
Naturae Secretissima," wherein he reduced the secrets of 
the brethren to three viz., perpetual motion, the transmu- 
tation of metals, and the universal medicine. 

292. Rosicrucians in the Mauritius. I am indebted to Mr, 
Waite's " Real History of the Rosicrucians " (published by 
George Redway, 1888) for the following particulars: 

It appears that a society of Rosicrucians existed in 1794 in 
the island of Mauritius. "My authority," says Mr. Waite,. 
" gives at length a copy of ' the admission of Dr. Bacstrom ' 
into that society by Le Comte de Chazal. In that document 
Dr. Bacstrom promises, among other things, ' never to reveal 
the secret knowledge he receives,' ' to initiate such persons as 
he may deem worthy,' including women, seeing that ' Leona 
Constantia, Abbess of Clermont, was actually received as a 
practical member and master into the society in 1/36 as a 
Soror Crucis ; ' that he will ' commence the great work as soon 
as circumstances permit,' that he 'will give nothing to the 
Church,' that he will 'never give the fermented metallic medi- 
cine for transmutation to any person living, unless he be a 
member of the Rosy Cross/ " To this document is appended 
the philosophic seal of the society, representing a man standing 
in a triangle, enclosed in a square, and surrounded by a circle. 
At the head and feet of the man are various cabalistic signs. 
The whole resembles some of the diagrams which may be 
found in the " Magical Works of Cornelius Agrippa," in the 
chapter treating of the proportions, measures, and harmony 
of the human body. 

293. Modern English Rosicrucians. Mr. Waite further 
states that a pseudo-society existed in England before the 
year 1836, because Godfrey Higgins says that " He had joined 
neither the Templars nor the Rosicrucians." The present 
Rosicrucian Society was remodelled about thirty years ago. 
A previous initiation into Masonry is an indispensable quali- 
fication of candidates: "the officers of the society shall 
consist of three Magi, a Master-General, a Treasurer-General,, 
a Secretary-General, and seven Ancients. There is also an 
Organist, a Torch-bearer, a Herald, a Guardian of the Temple, 
and a Medallist. The members are to meet four times a 
year, and dine together once a year. Every novice on ad- 
mission shall adopt a Latin motto, to be appended to his 
signature in all communications with the Order. The jewel 
of the Supreme Magus is an ebony cross, with golden roses 
at its extremities, and the jewel of the Rosie Cross in the 
centre. It is surmounted by a crown of gold for the Supreme 


Magus alone, and is worn round the neck, suspended by a 
crimson velvet ribbon. The jewel of the general officers is a 
lozenge-shaped plate of gold, enamelled white, with the Rosie 
Cross in the centre, surmounted by a golden mitre, on the 
rim of which is enamelled in rose-coloured characters LUX, 
and in its centre a small cross of the same colour. The 
jewel is worn suspended from a button-hole by a green 
ribbon an inch wide, and with a cross also embroidered on 
it in rose-coloured silk. The jewel of the fraternity is the 
lozenge-shaped jewel of the Rosie Cross, without the mitre, 
suspended by a green ribbon an inch in width, and without 
the embroidered cross. 

Mr. Waite derived this information from a secret record 
of the association entitled The Rosicrucian, a very small 
quarterly of twelve pages, first published in 1868, which 
ceased in 1879. In 1871 the society informed its members 
that their objects were purely literary and antiquarian ; that 
it consisted of 1 34 fratres, ruled over by three Supreme 
Magi. Seventy-two members composed the London col- 
leges, the others formed the Bristol and Manchester colleges. 
A Yorkshire college was consecrated in 1 877 ; a college in 
Edinburgh had been established some time previously. The 
prime mover in the association was Robert Wentworth Little ; 
the late Lord Lytton was Grand Patron. But as to Rosi- 
crucian knowledge the Brethren were altogether destitute 
of it, as they themselves admitted. 

VOL. I. 




294. Introductory. Accounts of several anti - social 
societies have been given in Book IV., such as the 
Assassins, Dervishes, and others. They were introduced 
there because they owed their origin to the religious 
systems described in that Book, and therefore I deemed 
it advisable not to sever the connection existing between 
the religious and the social sects by describing them in 
different Books. And thus much I thought it necessary to 
explain, an apparent irregularity, before commencing the 
history of the Thugs. 

295. Name and Origin. Shortly after the conquest of 
Seringapatam in 1799, about a hundred robbers, called 
Phansigars, were apprehended in that province; but it was 
not known then that they belonged to a distinct class of 
hereditary murderers and plunderers, settled in various parts 
of India. In 1807, between Chittoor and Arcot, several 
Phansigars were apprehended, and information was then 
obtained which ultimately led to a full knowledge of the 
association infamous under the name of Thugs, though the 
name by which they were known to one another, and also to 
others, was "Phansigars/' that is, "men of the noose." The 
name Thug is said to be derived from thaga, to deceive, 
because the Thugs get hold of their victims by luring them 
into false security. They were particularly numerous in 
Mysore, the Carnatic, in the Balaghat Districts, and in the 
Poliums of Chittoor. As to their origin, General Sleeman 
considers them descended from remnants of the army of 
Xerxes, which invaded Greece ; but more probably their 
origin is more recent. The date assigned by themselves to 
their first establishment in India coincides with the destruc- 
tion of the Assassins of Alamut. It is not improbable, in 
fact, that some of the fugitives who fled from the swords of 
the Moguls made their way to India ; and the existence of 



Ishtnaelites in India, under the name of Borahs, was known 
before the existence of the Thugs as an organised sect had 
been detected. Now the Thugs in the Ramasee, or cant of 
the Thugs, always call themselves Borahs, which they do pro- 
bably for the purpose of disguising their real pursuit ; for 
there is a sect, numerous in Hindustan, known by the name 
of Bohras, and whose members are chiefly peaceful traders. 
Some sect of Thugs call themselves Aulce. 

296. Practices and Worship of Thugs. One common 
mode of decoying young men having valuables upon them is 
to place a young and handsome woman by the wayside, and 
apparently in great grief, who by some pretended tale of 
misfortune draws him into the jungle, where the gang are 
lying in ambush, and on his appearance strangle him. 
The gang consists of from ten to fifty members ; and they 
will follow or accompany the marked-out victim for days, 
nor attempt his murder until an opportunity offering every 
chance of success presents itself. After every murder they 
perform a religious ceremony called tupounee j and the 
division of the spoil is regulated by old-established laws 
the man that threw the handkerchief, or roomal, gets the 
largest share ; the man that held the hands, called the 
shumseea, the next largest proportion, and so on. In some 
gangs their property is held in common. Their crimes are 
committed in honour of Kali, who hates our race, and to 
whom the death of man is a pleasing sacrifice. 

Kali (derived from Kala = Time), or Bhowany for she is 
equally well known by both names was, according to the 
Indian legend, born of the burning eye which Shiva, one 
of the persons of the Brahmin trinity, has on his forehead, 
whence she issued, like the Greek Minerva out of the skull 
of Jupiter, a perfect and full-grown being. She represents 
the Evil Spirit, delights in human blood, presides over 
plague and pestilence, and directs the storm and hurricane, 
and ever aims at destruction. She is represented under 
the most frightful effigy the Indian mind could conceive ; her 
face is azure, streaked with yellow ; her glance is ferocious ; 
she wears her dishevelled and bristly hair displayed like the 
peacock's tail, and braided with green serpents. Round her 
neck she wears a collar, descending almost to her knees, 
composed of golden skulls. Her purple lips seem streaming 
with blood ; her tusk-like teeth descend over her lower lip ; 
she has eight or ten arms, each hand holding some murderous 
weapon, and sometimes a human head dripping with gore. 
With one foot she stands on a human corpse. She has her 


temples, in which the people sacrifice cocks and bullocks to 
her ; but her priests are the Thugs, the " Sons of Death, " 
who quench the never-ending thirst of this divine vampire. 
An engraving, slightly differing in some of the above details, 
may be seen in the first volume of the "Asiatic Eesearches," 
p. 265. 

297. Traditions. Like all similar societies, the Thugs have 
their traditions. According to them, Kali in the beginning 
determined to destroy the whole human race, with the excep- 
tion, however, of her faithful adorers and followers. These, 
taught by her, slew all men that fell into their power. The 
victims at first were killed by the sword, and so great was 
the destruction her worshippers wrought, that the whole 
human race would have been extinguished, had not Vishnu, 
the Preserver, interfered, by causing the blood thus shed to 
bring forth new living beings, so that the destructive action 
of Kali was counteracted. It was then this goddess, to 
nullify the good intention of Vishnu, forbade her followers 
to kill any more with the sword, but commanded them to 
resort to strangulation. With her own hands she made a 
human figure of clay, and animated it with her breath. She 
then taught her worshippers how to kill without shedding 
blood. She also promised them that she would always bury 
the bodies of their victims, and destroy all traces of them. 
She further endowed her chosen disciples with superior 
courage and cunning, so as always to ensure them the 
victory over those they should attack. And she kept her 
promise. But in the course of time corrupt manners crept 
in even among the Thugs, and one of them, being curious 
to see what Kali did with the dead bodies, watched her as 
she was about to remove the corpse of a traveller he had 
slain. Goddesses, however, cannot thus be watched on the 
sly. Bhowany saw the peeper, and stepping forth, thus 
addressed him: "Thou hast now beheld the awful counte- 
nance of a goddess, which none can behold and live. But I 
shall spare thy days, though as a punishment of thy crime I 
shall not protect thee as I have done hitherto, and the punish- 
ment will extend to all thy brethren. The corpses of those 
you kill will no longer be buried or concealed by me ; you 
yourselves will be obliged to take the necessary measures 
for that purpose, nor will you always be successful, though I 
leave you the kussee, or sacred pickaxe, to dig the graves; 
sometimes you will fall under the profane laws of the world, 
which will be your eternal punishment. Nothing will remain 
to you but the superior intelligence and skill I have given 


you, and henceforth I shall direct you by auguries only, 
which you must diligently consult." Hence their super- 
stitious belief in omens. They study divination by birds 
and jackals, and by throwing the hatchet, and as it falls so 
they take their route. Any animal crossing the road from 
left to right, on their first setting out, is considered a bad 
omen, and the expedition consequently is given up for that 
day. The first murder on an expedition is called sonoka ; the 
leader gives the jhirnee, or sign for strangling ; the place of 
burial is called beyl ; the victim to be strangled is called bisul 
if the operation presents difficulties ; if easy, he is called 
coosul ; a pair of victims are distinguished by the name of 
Wiitree. Bungoos are river Thugs, passing up and down the 
Ganges, pretending to be going to or coming from holy places. 
They inveigle people on board their boats, and then strangle 
them, and throw them through holes, purposely made in the 
sides of the boats, into the river, after having broken the 
spines of their victims to prevent their recovering. This 
class of Thugs at one time numbered between two and three 
hundred members. 

298. Initiation. To be admitted into this horrible sect re- 
quired a long and severe novitiate, during which the aspirant 
had to give the most convincing proofs of his fitness for admis- 
sion. This having once been decided on, he was conducted 
by his sponsor to the mystical baptism, and clothed in white 
garments, and his brow crowned with flowers. The preparatory 
rite being performed, the sponsor presented him to the gurhu, 
or spiritual head of the sect, who, in his turn, introduced him 
into a room set apart for such ceremonies, where the Hye- 
mader, or chiefs of the various gangs, awaited him. Being 
asked whether they will receive the candidate into the 
Order, and having answered in the affirmative, he and the 
gurhu are led out into the open air, where the chiefs place 
themselves in a circle around the two, and kneel down to 
pray. Then the gurhu rises, and lifting up his hands to 
heaven, says : " Bhowany ! Mother of the world ! " (this 
appellation seems very inappropriate, since she is a destroyer), 
whose worshippers we are, receive this Thy new servant ; 
grant him Thy protection, and to us an omen, which assures 
us of Thy consent." They remain in this position until a 
passing bird, quadruped, or even mere cloud, has given them 
this assurance ; whereupon they return to the chamber, where 
the neophyte is invited to partake of a banquet spread out 
for the occasion, after which the ceremony is over. The 
newly-admitted member then takes the appellation of Sahib- 


Zada. He commences his infamous career as lugliali, or grave- 
digger, or as belhal, or explorer of the spots most convenient 
for executing a projected assassination, or lihiL In this con- 
dition he remains for several years, until he has given 
abundant proof of his ability and good-will. He is then 
raised to the degree of Wmttotah, or strangler, which advance- 
ment, however, is preceded by new formalities and ceremonies. 
On the day appointed for the ceremony, the candidate is 
conducted by his gurhu into a circle formed in the sands, 
and surrounded by mysterious hieroglyphics, where prayers 
are offered up to their deity. The ceremony lasts four days, 
during which the candidate is allowed no other food but 
milk. He occupies himself in practising the immolation of 
victims fastened to a cross erected in the ground. On the 
fifth day the priest gives him the fatal noose, washed in holy 
water and anointed with oil, and after more religious cere- 
monies, he is pronounced a perfect bhuttotah. He binds 
himself by fearful oaths to maintain the most perfect silence 
on all that concerns the society, and to labour without ceas- 
ing towards the destruction of the human race. He is the 
rex sacrificulus, and the person he encounters, and Bhowany 
places in his way, the victim. Certain persons, however, are 
excepted from the attacks of the Thugs. The hierophant, on 
initiating the candidate, says to him : " Thou hast chosen, 
my son, the most ancient profession, the most acceptable to 
the deity. Thou hast sworn to put to death every human 
being fate throws into thy hand ; there are, however, some 
that are exempt from our laws, and whose death would not 
be grateful to our deity." These belong to some particular 
tribes and castes, which he enumerates ; persons who squint, 
are lame, or otherwise deformed, are also exempt ; so are 
washerwomen, for some cause not clearly ascertained ; and as 
Kali was supposed to co-operate with the murderers, women 
also were safe from them, but only when travelling alone, 
without male protector ; and orthodox Thugs date the de- 
terioration of Thuggism from the first murder of a woman by 
some members of the society, after which the practice became 

The Thugs had their saints and martyrs, Thora and Kudull 
being two of the most famous, who are invoked by the fol- 
lowers of Bhowany. Worshippers of a deity delighting in 
blood, those whom the English Government condemned to 
death, offered her their own lives with the same readiness 
with which they had taken those of others. They met death 
with indifference, nay, with enthusiasm, firmly believing that 


they should at once enter paradise. The only favour they 
asked was to be strangled or hanged ; they have an intense 
horror of the sword and the shedding of blood ; as they killed 
by the cord, so they wished to die by it. 

299. Suppression. When the existence of the society was 
first discovered, many would not believe in it ; yet in course- 
of time the proofs became so convincing that it could no 
longer be ignored, and the British Government took decided 
measures to suppress the Thugs. A Thuggee school of in- 
dustry in connection with the Lahore gaol was established, 
but closed again about 1882, the prisoners being allowed: 
their freedom under ticket-of-leave. The crimes some of 
them had committed, indeed, almost exceed belief. One 
Thug, who was hanged at Lucknow in 1825, was legally 
convicted of having strangled six hundred persons. Another, 
an octogenarian, confessed to nine hundred and ninety- nine- 
murders, and declared that respect for the profession alone 
had prevented him from making it a full thousand, because- 
a round number was considered among them rather vulgar. 
But in spite of vigorous measures on the part of Great Britain 
there is a regular government department in India for the 
suppression of Thuggism the sect could not be entirely 
destroyed ; it is a religious order, and as such has a vitality 
greater than that of political or merely criminal associations. 
It was still in existence but a few years ago, and no doubt 
has its adherents even now, though the modern Thugs resort 
to drugging and poisoning, instead of strangling. It always 
had protectors in some of the native princes, who shared 
their booty, and such may now be the case. The society has 
a temple at Mirzapore, on the Ganges. 

A Thug, who during the Indian rebellion turned informer, 
confessed to having strangled three women, besides, perhaps, 
one hundred men. Yet this fellow was most pleasing and 
amiable in appearance and manners ; but, when relating his 
deeds of blood, he would speak of them with all the enthu- 
siasm of an old warrior remembering heroic feats, and all the 
instincts of the tiger seemed to reawaken in him. In spite 
of this, however, he caused some two hundred of his old 
companions to be apprehended by our government. 

When the Prince of Wales visited the portion of Lahore 
gaol allotted to the Thugs, a hoary old criminal, named Soba 
Singh, admitted with a sort of pride that he had strangled 
thirty-six persons. Two of the prisoners showed His Royal 
Highness how Thuggee was performed. 

300. Recent Instance of Thuggism. Sharfu, alias Sharif- 


ad-din, was hanged in the Punjab on January 6, 1882. 
He had become a Thug about the year 1867, and from 
that date to 1879 he lived by poisoning travellers. He 
pleaded guilty to ninety-six charges. The Punjab police 
published his biography, with notes, to assist officers in 
arresting the members of the gang who were then known 
to be at large. 



301. Origin and Organisation of Society. The Chauffeurs 
or Burners formed a secret society formerly existing in 
France, and only extinguished at the end of the last century. 
Its members subsisted by rapine and murder. According 
to the slender notices we have of this society, it arose at 
the time of the religious wars which devastated France 
during the days of Henry III. and IV. and Catherine of 
Medici; and as the writers who searched into its history 
were Roman Catholics, they charitably assumed the original 
Chauffeurs to have been the defeated Huguenots, who took 
to this brigand life to avenge themselves on their conquerors. 
But the fact that the religious ceremonies of the society 
included the celebration of a kind of mass, strongly mili- 
tates against this assumption of their origin. It is more 
probable that, like similar fraternities formed in lawless 
times, it consisted of men dissatisfied with their lot, ordi- 
nary criminals, and victims of want or injustice. 

The Chauffeurs constituted a compact body, governed by 
a single head. They had their own religion, and a code of 
civil and criminal laws, which, though only handed down 
orally, was none the less observed and respected. It re- 
ceived into its fraternity all who chose to claim admission, 
but preferred to enrol such as had already distinguished 
themselves by criminal deeds. The members were divided 
into three degrees ; the spies, though affiliated, did not 
properly form part of the society. The initiated were again 
subdivided into decurice, each with its guapo or head. 

Though, as we have said, any one could be initiated, yet 
the society, like that of the Jesuits, preferred educating 
and bringing up its members. Whole families belonged 
to the fraternity, and the children were early taught how 
to act as spies, commit small thefts and similar crimes, 
which were rewarded more or less liberally, as they were 

executed with more or less daring or adroitness. Want 



of success brought proportionate punishment with it, very 
severe corporeal castigation, which was administered not 
merely as punishment, but also to teach the young members 
to bear bodily pain with fortitude. One would almost be 
inclined to think that those bandits had studied the code 
of Lycurgus! At the age of fourteen or fifteen the boy 
was initiated into the first degree of the society. At a 
kind of religious consecration he took an oath, calling down 
on his own head the lightning and wrath of heaven if ever 
he failed in his duty towards the Order. He received the 
sword he was to use in self-defence and in fighting for his 

The master had almost unbounded authority ; he kept 
the common purse, and distributed the booty according to 
his own discretion. He also awarded rewards or promotion, 
and inflicted punishment. Theft from the profane, as out- 
siders were called, was the fundamental law, ancl, indeed, 
the support of the society, but theft from a brother was 
punished, the first time, by a fine three times the amount 
stolen. When repeated, the fine was heavier, and sometimes 
the thief was put to death. Each brother was bound to come 
to the assistance of another when in danger; the honour 
of the wives of members was to be strictly respected, and 
concubinage and prostitution were prohibited and severely 
punished. Their mode of administering justice was rational, 
i.e., summary. The accused person was called before the 
general assembly of the members, informed of the charge 
against him, confronted with the witnesses, and if found 
innocent acquitted ; if guilty, he had either at once to pay 
the fine imposed, receive the number of blows allotted, or 
submit to hanging on the nearest tree, according to the 
tenor of the sentence. 

302. Religious and Civil Ceremonies. The religious wor- 
ship of the Chauffeurs was a parody on that of the Church. 
The sermons of their preachers were chiefly directed to in- 
structing them how most profitably to pursue their pro- 
fession, and how to evade the pursuit of the profane. On 
fete-days the priests celebrated mass, and especially invoked 
the heavenly blessing on the objects and designs of the 
society. English navvies seem to have borrowed the leading 
feature of their marriage ceremony from that of the society 
of Chauffeurs, which was as follows : On the wedding-day 
the bridegroom and bride, accompanied by the best man 
and chief bridesmaid, presented themselves before the priest, 
who after having read some ribald nonsense from a dirty 


old book, took a stick, which he sprinkled with holy water, 
and after having placed it into the hands of the two chief 
witnesses, who held it up between them, he invited the 
bridegroom to leap over it, while the bride stood on the 
other side awaiting him. She received him in her arms, 
and held him up for a few moments before setting him 
down on the ground. The bride then went in front of 
the stick, and took her leap over it into the bridegroom's 
arms, whose pride it was to hold her up in the air as long 
as possible, before letting her down. Auguries were drawn 
of the future felicity and fecundity of the marriage from the 
length of time the bride had been able to hold up her spouse, 
whilst both seated themselves on the stick, and the priest 
put on the bride's finger the wedding-ring. The navvies' 
ceremony therefore of " jumping over the broomstick " is no 
new invention. 

Divorces were granted not only for proved or suspected 
infidelity, but also on account of incompatibility of temper 
which proves the Chauffeurs to have been, in this respect 
at least, very sensible people after the priest had tried 
every means to bring about a reconciliation. The divorce 
was pronounced in public, and its principal feature was the 
breaking of the stick on which the pair had been married 
over the wife's head. After that, each was at liberty to 
marry again. 

303. The Grand Master. The sect was spread over a 
great part of North-western France ; made use of a peculiar 
patois, understood by the initiated only ; and had its signs, 
grips, and passwords like all other secret societies. It com- 
prised many thousand members. Its existence and history 
first became publicly known through the judicial proceed- 
ings taken against it by the courts of Chartres during the 
last decade of the preceding century. Many mysterious 
robberies, fires, and murders were then brought home to the 
Chauffeurs. Its Grand Master at the time was Francis the 
Fair, so called on account of his singular personal beauty. 
Before his initiation he had been imprisoned for robbery 
with violence, but managed to escape ; the Order sought 
him out and enrolled him amongst its members, and at the 
death of their chief, John the Tiler, unanimously elected 
him in his place. Taken prisoner at the above-mentioned 
period, he again found means to give his gaolers at Chartres 
the slip probably with their connivance and was not 
heard of again. A rumour was indeed current at the time 
that he had joined the Chouans, and eventually perished, a 


-victim to his debaucheries. Some hundreds of Chauffeurs 
were executed at Chartres ; but the mass of them made 
their escape and swelled the ranks of the above-named 

It was chiefly during the Reign of Terror that the 
Chauffeurs committed their greatest ravages. At night 
large bands of them invaded isolated houses and the castles 
of the nobility, robbing the rich and poor alike. During 
the day children and old women, under various disguises 
and pretences, penetrated into the localities where property 
worth carrying off might be expected to exist, and on their 
reports the society laid its plans. Sometimes, disguised as 
national guards, they demanded and obtained admission in 
the name of the law. If they met with resistance they 
employed violence ; if not, they contented themselves with 
robbery. But sometimes they suspected that the inmates 
of the dwelling they had invaded concealed valuables ; in 
that case they would tie their hands behind their backs, and 
casting them on the ground apply fire to their feet, at the 
same time cutting them open with their daggers or knives 
whence the name chaffeurs, " burners " until they revealed 
the hiding-places of their treasures, or died in frightful 
agony. Such as did not die were generally crippled for life. 

304. Discovery of the Society. A young man who had suffered 
in this fashion from some of the members of the society, deter- 
mined to be revenged on them, by betraying them into the 
hands of justice. He revealed his plan to the authorities of 
Chartres, and then set about its execution. In broad day- 
light, in the market-place of Chartres, he picked the pocket 
of a gendarme. The gendarme, having his instructions, of 
course saw nothing, but a Chauffeur, some of whom were 
always prowling about, noticed the apparently daring deed, 
and reported it to his fellows and to his chief. That so 
clever and bold a thief should not belong to the brotherhood 
seemed unnatural ; very soon therefore he was sought out, 
and very advantageous offers were made to him if he would 
join them. At first he seemed disinclined to do so, but 
eventually yielded, and then showed all the zeal usual with 
neophytes. He attended all the meetings of the society, 
and speedily made himself acquainted with all their secrets, 
their signs, passwords, modes of action, hiding-places, &c. 
Their safest retreat and great depot, where the booty was 
stored, was a wild wood in the neighbourhood of Chartres. 
When the false brother had made these discoveries, and had 
also ascertained a day when nearly all the members of the 


society would be assembled on the spot for planning an 
expedition, he managed to evade their vigilance, hastened to 
Chartres, and gave the necessary information to the authori- 
ties, who had held a large number of men in readiness in 
the expectation of this chance. These were at once de- 
spatched to the locality indicated by the guide, the wood 
was surrounded, and the Chauffeurs being taken unawares, 
either perished fighting or were taken prisoners. This was 
in 1799. Some of the Chauffeurs managed to escape, and 
under the leadership of Schinderhannes (John the Flayer), 
continued their criminal practices on either side of the 
Rhine, until the band was seized in 1803, an( ^ Schinder- 
hannes and many of his followers were executed at May- 
ence, from which time the Chauffeurs were no more 
heard of. 

305. Death of an old Chauffeur. The French papers in 
November 1883 reported the death, near Cannes, of Yves 
Conedie, at the age of 105, one of the ancient leaders of the 
Chauffeurs. He had spent the latter part of his life in 
" respectable retirement." He had started on his adventurous 
career at the period of the wars of La Vendee ; later on, on 
arriving at Chartres, in quest of his wife, who had fled from 
him, taking with her all the money she could lay hands on, 
he joined a band of Chauffeurs. Having discovered his 
wife's retreat, it is recorded that he flayed her alive, and the 
leader of the band to which he belonged being executed, he 
assumed his place, and carried off a Government commissary 
who had been instrumental in causing the brigand chief to 
be guillotined, keeping him as a hostage until a heavy price 
was paid for his ransom. 



306. Origin of the Society. When that superstitious bigot 
and tyrant Ferdinand, king of Spain who believed himself 
a clever diplomatist, but was all his lifetime but the tool of 
a rapacious and bloodthirsty priesthood, the same who made 
the Inquisition all-powerful in Spain, and caused Columbus 
to be brought home in chains from the world he had dis- 
covered and added to the monster's dominions when he 
resolved on the extermination in his kingdom of Moors and 
Jews the former the most civilised, and the latter the most 
industrious of his subjects all the vagabonds and scoundrels 
of Spain were welcome to take part in the holy war, solely 
begun and carried on to extirpate heresy and spread the 
pure faith at least such was the pretence. There had, 
indeed, long before Ferdinand's time been bands of male- 
factors who roamed over the Spanish territory, and with the 
secret support of the Roman Catholic clergy, who shared the 
spoil, committed wholesale burglaries in the houses of Moors 
and Hebrews, occasionally burning a resisting heretic in the 
flames of his own house as a sweet-smelling savour unto 
Heaven. The Moors were enemies to their country, though 
they had civilised it, and the Jews belonged to an accursed 
race ; to fight and destroy them was a meritorious work, 
which had the full approbation of the Church. In Ferdi- 
nand's time the brigands readily joined the crusade against 
the Moors ; the king's motto evidently was 

" It is the sapiency of fools 
To shrink from handling evil tools," 

and brigands may make good soldiers. Brigands, moreover, 
are generally well disposed towards the Church, and submis- 
sive to the priest, and these dispositions, so well agreeing 
with those of Ferdinand himself, could not but render the 
brigands favourites with him. But when the object of Fer- 
dinand's holy war was attained, and the Moorish power 
VOL. I. 257 R 


destroyed, he left the free-lances to shift for themselves, 
which they did in their fashion, by returning to their former 
occupation of brigandage. Now, although during the much- 
vaunted reign of Ferdinand the Catholic, as lying and servile 
writers have called him, and Isabella, who was too much 
under the influence of a set of demons in priestly garb, and 
hence did all she could to increase the power of the Inquisi- 
tion, nearly two millions of subjects Moors and Jews were 
driven from the realm, yet a great many remained who 
belonged to the one or the other race, and had, in order to 
be allowed to stay in their native country, adopted the Chris- 
tian faith. Yet with such contempt were they looked upon 
by the genuine Spaniards, that they never spoke of them but 
as marranos (hogs), though many of them were the heads of, 
or belonged to, rich and influential families. The king and 
his Satanic crew of inquisitors were ever anxious to convict 
such persons of having relapsed into heresy, in order to burn 
them at the stake and confiscate their property. The bri- 
gands, well aware of this, selected the houses of the marranos 
for the scenes of their operations ; and as long as a good 
share of the booty passed into the hands of priests, inquisi- 
tors, and the royal exchequer, Justice winked at the proceed- 
ings. But when the brigands grew tired of these heavy 
exactions, and refused to pay tribute, Justice suddenly woke 
up and resolved on exterminating the brigands, who snatched 
away spoil which legitimately belonged to the king and In- 
quisition, as the reward of their virtue in rigorously putting 
down heresy. It was then when gendarmes and soldiers 
were sent out in all directions to catch or disperse the bands 
of brigands that infested the country that these bands, 
which had hitherto acted independently of each other, deter- 
mined for their greater safety to unite and form one large 
secret society. It was thus the Garduna arose, which 
soon provided itself with the whole apparatus of secret signs, 
passwords, initiatory ceremonies, and all other stage "pro- 
perty " necessary in such cases. Their connection with the 
Holy Inquisition was not severed thereby, but established 
on a business-like footing, though of course it remained 
secret a sort of sleeping partnership. With such high 
protection at Court and in the Church, it is not surprising 
that the association soon counted its thousands of members, 
who actually made Seville their headquarters, where all 
great plundering, burning, and murdering expeditions were 
planned and prepared. 

307. Organisation. The society had nine degrees, arranged 


in three classes. To the inferior classes belonged the novices 
or Chivatos (goats), who performed the menial duties, acted 
as explorers and spies, or carried the booty. When on the 
watch, during any operation of their superiors, they imitated, 
in case of danger, the cry of an animal. At night they 
imitated that of a cricket, owl, frog, or cat. In the daytime 
they barked like dogs. The Coberteras (covers), abandoned 
women, who insinuated themselves into private houses to spy 
out opportunities for stealing, or acted as decoy-ducks, by 
alluring men into retired places, where they were set upon, 
robbed, and frequently murdered by the brigands. For the 
latter purpose, however, the Garduna generally employed 
young and handsome women, who were called Serenas 
(syrens), and usually were the mistresses of leading mem- 
bers. Lastly, the Fuelles (bellows), or spies, chiefly old men 
of what is called venerable appearance whatever that may 
mean sanctimonious in carriage, unctuous in speech, haunt- 
ing churches, in fact, saints. These not only disposed of 
the booty already obtained, but by their insinuating manners 
and reputation for piety wormed themselves into the secrets 
of families, which were afterwards exploited for the benefit 
of the band. They also acted as familiars of the Inquisition. 
In the next class were the Floreadores (athletes), men stained 
with every vice, chiefly discharged or escaped convicts from 
the galleys, or branded by the hand of the executioner, whose 
office consisted in attacking and robbing travellers on the 
high-road. Then came the proud Ponteadores (pinkers, i.e., 
bullies, expert swordsmen), sure to kill their man. Above 
these were the Guapos (heads, chiefs), also experienced 
duellists, and generally appointed to lead some important 
enterprise. The highest class embraced the Magistri, or 
priests, who conducted the initiations, preserved the laws, 
usages, and traditions of the society. The Capatazes (com- 
manders), who resided in the different provinces through 
which the Garduna was spread, represented the Hermano 
Mayor or Grand Master, who exercised arbitrary and abso- 
lute power over the whole society, and ruled the members 
with a rod of iron. He often was an important personage 
at Court. Strange that men, who will not submit to legiti- 
mate authority, yet will bow to and be tyrannised over by a 
creature of their own setting up ! The Thugs, Assassins, 
Chauffeurs, and all similar lawless societies, surrendered 
their will to that of one man in blind and slavish fear ; but 
perhaps this is the only condition on which such societies 
can exist. 


308. Spirit of the Society. The Thugs or Assassins killed 
to rob, but the Garduna, having learnt its business, so to 
speak, in a more diabolical school, that of the Holy Inquisi- 
tion, considered itself bound to perform any kind of crime 
that promised a chance of gain. The priests had drawn up 
a regular tariff, at which any number of members of the 
society could be hired to do any deed of darkness. Robbery, 
murder, mutilation, false evidence, falsification of documents, 
the carrying off of a lady, getting your enemy taken on board 
a ship and sold as a slave in a foreign colony all these could 
be had "to order ;" and the members of the Garduna were 
exceedingly conscientious and prompt in carrying out such 
pleasant commissions. One-half of the price paid for such 
services was generally paid on giving the order, and the 
other half on its completion. The sums thus earned were 
divided into three parts ; one part went into the general 
fund, the other was kept in hand for running expenses, and 
the third went to the members who had done the work. 
That for a considerable period the affairs of the society were 
in a very flourishing state, is proved by the fact that they 
were able to keep in their pay at the Court of Madrid 
persons holding high positions to protect and further the 
interests of the members. They even had their secret 
affiliates among judges, magistrates, governors of prisons, 
and similar officials, whose chief duty lay in facilitating or 
effecting the escape of any member of the society that might 
have fallen into the hands of justice. 

309. Signs, Legend, &c. It was mentioned above that the 
Garduna had its signs and passwords of recognition. When 
a Garduna found himself in the company of strangers, to 
ascertain if a brother was present, he would as it were 
accidentally put his right thumb to his left nostril; if a 
brother was present, he would approach him and whisper 
the password, in reply to which another password would be 
given; then, to make quite sure, there would be grips and 
signs a la Freemason, and the two might talk at their ease 
in a jargon perfectly unintelligible to outsiders on their 
mutual affairs and interests. Their religious rites and the 
Garduna insisted much on being a religious society were 
those of the Papal Church, and as that Church is founded 
on legends innumerable, so the Garduna had its legend, 
which was a follows: "When the sons of Beelzebub (the 
Moors) first invaded Spain, the miraculous Madonna of Cor- 
dova took refuge in the midst of the Christian camp. But 
God, to punish the sins of His people, allowed the Moors to 


-defeat the orthodox arms, and to erect their throne on the 
broken power of the Christians, who retreated into the 
mountains of Asturia, and there continued, as well as they 
could, their struggle with the enemies of God and oppressors 
of their country. The Madonna, daily and hourly implored by 
the faithful, granted some successes to their .arms, so that 
they were not entirely destroyed, according to Heaven's first 
decree. And though they could not drive the Moors from 
Spain, they yet amidst the mountains preserved their religion 
and liberty. There lived at that time in the wilds of Sierra 
Morena an old anchorite, named Apollinare, vulgarly called 
Cal Polinario, a man of austere habits, great sanctity, and a 
devout worshipper of the Virgin. To him one morning the 
Mother of God appeared and spoke thus: ' Thou seest what 
evil the Moors do to thy native country and the religion of 
niy Son. The sins of the Spanish people are indeed so great 
as to have excited the wrath of the Most High, for which 
reason He has allowed the Moors to triumph over you. But 
while my Son was contemplating the earth, I had the happy 
inspiration to point out to him thy many and great virtues, 
.at which his brow cleared up ; and I seized the instant to 
beseech him by means of thee to save Spain from the many 
evils that afflict it. He granted my prayer. Hear, therefore, 
my commands and execute them. Collect the patriot and 
the brave, lead them in my name against the enemy, assur- 
ing them that I shall ever be by their side. And as they are 
fighting the good fight of the faith, tell them that even now 
they shall have their reward, and that they may in all justice 
appropriate to themselves the riches of the Moors, in what- 
ever manner obtained. In the hands of the enemies of God 
wealth may be a means of oppressing religion, whilst in those 
of the faithful it will only be applied to its greater glory. 
Arise, Apollinare, inspire and direct the great crusade ; I 
invest thee with full power, anointing thee with celestial oil. 
Take this button, which I myself pulled off the tunic of my 
celestial Son ; it has the property of multiplying itself and 
working miracles without number ; whoso wears one on his 
neck will be safe from Moorish arms, the rage of heretics, and 
sudden death.' And the Virgin having anointed him and 
given him the button, disappeared, leaving an ambrosial 
flavour behind." Then the anchorite founded the Holy 
Garduna, which thus could claim a right divine to robbery 
and murder. Hence also no important predatory expedition 
was undertaken without a foregoing religious ceremony; and 
when a discussion arose as to how to attack, a traveller, or to 


commit some other similar crime, the Bible was ostensibly 
referred to for guidance. 

310. Suppression of the Society. The laws of the society, 
like those of nearly all secret societies, were not written 
down, but transmitted by oral tradition ; but the Garduna 
kept a kind of chronicle in which its acts were briefly re- 
corded. This book, which was deposited in the archives of the 
tribunals of Seville by Don Manuel de Cuendias, who, with 
his mountain chasseurs, exterminated the sect, and which 
book, with other documents, was seized in the house of the 
Grand Master Francis Cortina in 1821, formed the basis 
of the indictment of the society before the courts of justice. 
From this it appeared that the Garduna had its branches in 
Toledo, Barcelona, Cordova, and many other Spanish towns. 
It also revealed their close connection with the Holy In- 
quisition up to the seventeenth century, and it showed that 
the " orders " given by the holy fathers amounted in 147 
years from 15 20 to 1667 to 1986, which had yielded the 
Garduna nearly 200,000 francs. Of their list of crimes, the 
carrying off of women, chiefly at the instigation of the holy 
fathers of the Inquisition, forms about one-third, assassi- 
nations form another third, whilst robbery, false testimony, 
or denunciation, complete the list. The book further was 
the means of enabling the authorities to arrest many of the 
members of the society, who were tried without delay, and on 
the 25th November 1822 the last Grand Master and sixteen 
of his chief followers expiated their crimes on the scaffold 
erected in the market-place of Seville, and the Garduna in 
Europe only survives in the bands of brigands who are yet to 
be occasionally encountered in the recesses of the Spanish 

311. Bandits insuring Travellers' Safety. These bandits, 
like the Garduna, continued to keep in every town, and most 
of the ventas, or isolated inns on the high-roads, agents or 
" insurers," who, for a certain sum, insured travellers against 
the attacks or exactions of other brigands. In 1823 every 
traveller who wished to avoid trouble on the journey from 
Madrid to Cadiz had only to travel in one of the waggons of 
Pedro Ruiz ; the fare was three times that of the stage coach, 
but the bandits never attacked the waggons of Ruiz. At 
Merida, in Estremadura, the host of the Three Crosses gave 
a password for forty francs. Don Manuel de Cuendias, the 
editor of Fereal's " History of the Inquisition," relates in that 
work that he, in 1822, paid Father Alexis forty francs for the 
password, Vade retro, which, on his arrival at the "Confes- 


sional," the place where a traveller might be killed without 
even seeing his murderers, turned four brigands, who made 
their appearance, into four peasants more inoffensive than 

The Garduna was reorganised in South America, where it 
existed in 1 846, in Brazil, Peru, the Argentine Republic, and 
Mexico, and where for a few dollars a hired assassin will rid 
you of an enemy. 


312. Origin of the Camorra. This society, probably the 
most pernicious association which has ever existed in Europe, 
was, or is for we have no proofs that it has ceased to exist 
an association of blacklegs, thieves, extortioners, rogues 
and villains of every kind, infesting Naples and the Neapo- 
litan territory. The origin of the name is involved in doubt, 
but most probably it is simply a Spanish importation ; for 
the word camorra exists in that language, meaning quarrel, 
dispute, and a camorrista is a quarrelsome, cantankerous 
person, and as the word was not known in Italy before the 
Spanish usurpation, we may reasonably assume that the 
word and the thing were introduced into Naples by the 
Spaniards, especially as we know from old Spanish authors 
that associations like the Italian Camorra existed in Spain 
long before the latter appeared in Italy. To quote but one 
instance : In the account of what happened to Sancho Panza 
on the island of Barataria, we are told that on going his 
rounds one night he met two men fighting; on inquiring 
the cause of the quarrel, it appeared that one of the comba- 
tants had won a large sum of money at a gambling-house, 
that the other, who had been looking on, and given judg- 
ment for him in more than one doubtful case, "though 
he could not well tell how to do it in conscience," had claimed 
from the winner a gratuity of eight reals, but the latter 
would only give four, and hence the quarrel. To make such 
claims always was the practice of the Neapolitan gaming- 
house Camorrista. The enforced gratuity was in Spain 
called the barato ; in Naples, barattolo. 

History says nothing as to the origin of the Camorra; 
tradition goes no further back than the year 1820; let us 
see what is known of its organisation. 

313. Different kinds of Camorra. There is the "elegant" 
Camorra, the swell mob of the society, who levy taxes on 

gamblers, as already mentioned ; the Camorra, which extorts 



contributions from shopkeepers, hackney-coach drivers, boat- 
men, in fact, from every one following some out-door calling ; 
nay, the Camorrists abound in the prisons, and woe to the 
prisoner who, under the accursed reign of the Bourbons, did 
not quietly submit to their exactions. There was a political 
Camorra, and even a Camorra which committed murder. 

314. Degrees of the Society. The Camorra was largely sup- 
plied with new members by the prisons. A youthful pri- 
soner, who aspired to become a Camorrista, began his 
apprenticeship in prison, where he was put to the most 
degrading offices in the service of imprisoned Camorristi. 
When in course of time he had given proofs of courage and 
zeal, he was promoted to the degree of picciotto di sgarro. 
Picciotto may be translated " lad," but as to the meaning of the 
term sgarro, the Camorristi themselves are in the dark. It may 
be derived from sgarrare, to mistake, or from sgarare, to come 
off conqueror, but either derivation is only a surmise. Nor 
were the terms applied to differences of degree always the 
same. In some localities the novice was called a tamurro ; 
in the second degree he took the name of picciotto d'onore, 
and became picciotto di sgarro only after many years' trial. 
In a society having no written or printed records we must 
expect slight differences! In the flourishing days of the 
Camorra, admission to the degree of di sgarro was only ob- 
tained by undergoing the test of devotion and courage. 
The aspirant had to apply for permission to disfigure or, 
if necessary, to kill some one. If the Camorrists did not 
happen to have on hand an order to do either, the candidate 
underwent the trial of the tirata (duel, literally, " drawing"), 
which consisted in drawing his knife against a picciotto 
already received and designated by lot. This was not so 
dangerous a proceeding as might at first appear, for most 
of the picciotti were the sons of Camorristi, and as such 
practised from their earliest youth fighting with knives. 
There were clandestine schools of mutual instruction in the 
town, and even in the prisons, where the use of the dagger 
was taught. Moreover, this trial fight always was a simple 
tirata a musco (literally, a musk drawing), that is, a mild 
affair in which the knife was to touch the arm only, and at 
the first blood the combatants embraced and the candidate 
was initiated. In the early days of the Camorra the trial 
was more severe. The Camorristi stood round a coin placed 
on the ground, and all at a given signal stooped to prick 
it with their knives. The candidate had to pick up the 
coin. Often his hand was pierced, but he became a picci- 


otto di sgarro. He underwent a noviciate of three to six 
years, during which he had to bear all the charges of the 
association without sharing in its benefits. He generally 
belonged to a Camorrista, who assigned to him all the hardest 
tasks, occasionally giving him a handful of coppers. He was 
always chosen when blood had to be spilt. When a blow 
had to be struck, the picciotti were eager to deliver it in 
the hope of advancement. The one chosen by lot sometimes 
incurred six to twenty years on the galleys, but he became 
a Camorrista. All these murders were committed, not for 
the sake of lucre, but for that of honour; for the Neapolitan 
conscience bowed down before the knife, as more civilised 
countries still do before the sword. 

3 1 5. Ceremony of Reception. On the reception of a picci- 
otto into the degree of Camorrista, the sectaries assembled 
around a table, on which were placed a dagger, a loaded 
pistol, a glass of water or wine, supposed to be poisoned, and 
a lancet. The picciotto was introduced, accompanied by a 
barber, who opened one of the candidate's veins. The latter 
was then, in some circles, called a tamurro. He dipped his 
hand in his blood, and extending it towards the Camorristi, 
he swore for ever to keep the secrets of the society, and 
faithfully to carry out its orders. He then took hold of the 
dagger and planted it firmly in the table, cocked the pistol, 
and brought the glass to his mouth to indicate that he was 
ready, at a sign from the master, to kill himself ; but the 
latter stopped him, and bade him kneel down before the 
dagger. He then placed his right hand on the head of 
the candidate, and with the left he fired off the pistol into 
the air, and shattered the glass containing the supposed 
poisoned liquor on the ground. He then drew the dagger 
from the table, presented it to the new companion, and em- 
braced him, which example was followed by all the others. 
The tamurro, henceforth a Camorrista, became entitled to 
all the rights, benefits, and privileges of the society. His 
election was announced to all the sections. But this ridicu- 
lous ceremony was not always observed. Sometimes the 
candidate only swore fidelity to the society over two crossed 
daggers. The reception was generally followed by a banquet 
in the country, or in the prison itself if the reception took 
place among prisoners. 

316. Centres. The Camorristi were divided into centres. 
There were twelve at Naples, and every centre was divided 
into paranze or sub-centres, each one of which acted inde- 
pendently of the others and on its own account, though 


during a certain period all the centres, every one of which 
had its chief, acknowledged the chief of the Vicaria centre 
as their supreme head. (The Vicaria was originally the 
Castle Capuano, which became afterwards the palace of the 
Spanish Viceroy, hence the change of name, and eventually 
the Courts of Law.) The last of these supreme heads was one 
Aniello Ausiello, who eventually disappeared and was never 
apprehended by the police. The chief of every centre was 
chosen by the members ; he could take no important step 
without consulting them. But all the earnings of the 
centre were paid to him, which invested him with con- 
siderable power, for he distributed the Camorra for this 
word designates not only the society, but also the common 
fund. The chief was allowed a contarulo or accountant, a 
capo carusiello or cashier, and a secretary. Among the other 
employes of the Camorra were a capo stanze or caterer, 
and a chiamatore, literally, the caller, because he called the 
prisoners wanted in the prison parlour. The division of the 
barattolo (312) took place every Sunday, the chief always 
retaining for himself the lion's share. 

317. Cant Terms of the Camorra. The chief is called 
masto, or si masto, master, or Sir master. When a com- 
panion, as all the affiliated are styled, meets one of his chiefs 
in the street, he raises his hand to his cap, and says, " Masto, 
volite niente ? " Master, do you want anything ? A companion 
is simply addressed as si, an abbreviation of signore. An 
itbbidienza, obedience, means an order. Freddare, to make 
cold, means to kill ; the dormente, the sleeper, the dead body. 
The man who is robbed is called Vagnello, the lamb ; sog- 
getto, subject, or mico. The stolen object is called the morto, 
or rufo ; the fence, the graffo. These latter words are pure 
slang. The knife is called martino, punta (point), or miseri- 
cordia ; when quite flat and double-edged, a sfarziglia. A 
gun is a bocca (mouth), to/a, or buonbas ; a revolver, a tictac, or 
bo-botta; the patrol are gatti neri, or sorci (black cats or 
mice). The commissary of police is nicknamed capo lasagna 
(lasagne are a kind of long and flat maccaroni) ; the lasa- 
gnaro (dealer in lasagne) means a sergeant of police, and a 
simple policeman is an asparago (asparagus) ; the palo (Pole) 
is a spy ; the serpentina means a piaster. When a picciotto 
took upon himself the crime of another, Tacollava, he em- 
braced him. Camorristi belonging to the lowest class of the 
people are called guappi (meaning unknown) ; those who are 
pickpockets, and to facilitate their sleight of hand have 
lengthened the fore-finger by violent stretching, or by a 


machine made for the purpose, till it is of the same length 
as the middle finger, are curiously enough called Chirurgi. 

318. Unwritten Code of the Camorra. It is not probable 
that the Camorristi ever had a written code of laws ; but 
they had an orally-transmitted code, containing twenty-four 
articles. It would extend this book too much were we to 
give them all : we select a few. Article 2 declares that no 
member of the police is ever to be admitted ; but article 3 
allows a Camorrista to join the force in order to keep his 
brethren informed of anything the authorities may be plan- 
ning against them ; article 5 stipulates that offences against 
the society are to be tried by the Grand Master and six 
Camorristi proprietarii (that is, Camorristi who have others 
under them) ; by article 8 any member who has betrayed his 
oath of secrecy is condemned to death; articles 9 and 10 
award the same punishment for omissions or commissions of 
acts endangering the security of the society. By article 1 5 
the lowest Camorrista may kill any member who has com- 
mitted any act injurious to the society, but he must do so in 
the presence of two companions, who must witness to the 
facts. Article 1 6 condemns any one who attempts to become 
personally acquainted with the Grand Master to death. By 
article 20, Camorristi, who have reached the age of fifty to 
sixty years, or who have been injured in the cause, are 
entitled to temporary or permanent support ; their widows 
also in certain cases receive pensions. Article 24 secures to 
prisoners gifts in money, arms, or whatever they may be in 
need of, without any restriction. 

It was also an unwritten law among Camorristi to mutually 
assist one another if unlucky at play ; an offence com- 
mitted against a member of the Camorra elegante was an 
offence committed against all, and any one of them could 
avenge it ; these latter gentry also generally dressed alike, 
wore their hats in the same way, and carried their walking- 
sticks horizontally suspended between two fingers of the 
right hand. Stealing was allowed, but the objects stolen 
must be of some value, so as not to bring disgrace on the 
Camorra ! 

319. The Camorra in the Prisons. We have already men- 
tioned that the Camorra was ubiquitous, that, in the time of 
the Bourbons, it invaded the prisons even. A prisoner on 
his arrival was accosted by a Camorrista, who asked for money 
for the lamp of the Madonna. On all the prisoner ate, drank, 
smoked, on any money he received from friends, on neces- 
saries and superfluities, on justice and privileges, the Camorra 


levied a tax. Those who resisted this extortion ran the risk 
of being beaten to death. True, the Cainorrista, who had 
taken the prisoner " under his protection/' would not allow 
him to be fleeced by others, and would even fight for him- 
after having skinned him alive ! When a prisoner of some 
rank was brought to the Vicaria, he would occasionally 
receive from the Camorra not from the gaolers, who went 
in fear of the sectaries a knife for his personal defence. 
In every prison the Camorristi had a depot of arms, which 
went by the name of the pianta (plant), and was never dis- 
covered by the gaol authorities. It may fairly be assumed 
that originally the Camorra was established in the prisons as 
a protection for prisoners, who under the vile reigns of the 
Bourbon dynasty were shamefully ill-treated by the officials. 
It is certain that the Camorristi maintained some order in 
the prisons; in fact, the gaolers often were glad to have 
recourse to their authority to master rebellious prisoners. 

320. The Camorra in the Streets. Originally the Camorra 
existed in prisons only ; it was carried into the city by 
prisoners, who had served their time, shortly after the year 
1830. From that date the streets of Naples were infested by 
Camorristi, who " worked " in gangs. They mewed like cats 
at the approach of the patrol, crowed like cocks on seeing 
a benighted pedestrian; this sign was also adopted, when 
known at a house, to indicate a friend. They uttered a 
long sigh when the pedestrian was not alone ; sneezed when 
he did not look worth attacking ; chanted an Axe Maria 
when the spoil promised to be good, and a G-loria Patri when 
the expected victim hove in sight. When a Camorrista 
entered a meeting-place of the sect where he was a stranger, 
any one present who knew him, to indicate to his friends 
that the new-comer was one of them, would twice or thrice 
raise his eyelids, thrust his hands into his pockets, and look 
for a second or two at the ceiling. The town Camorra was 
not absent from the highest circles. Eoyal Highnesses were 
in league with smugglers, and shared their profits ; ministers 
protected the Camorristi "for a consideration;" bishops, 
the heads of charitable institutions, every government offi- 
cial, in some way or another were involved in the Camorra 
scandal. M. Marc-Monnier mentions a Camorrista he knew 
at Naples who, though he played with loaded dice, cheated 
at cards, and was, in fact, a thorough swindler, was yet 
received at Court, because he handled the sword well, and 
was feared as a duellist, until an Englishman killed him in an 
"affair of honour." But the Camorrist ^mr e simple sponged 


on the lower classes. A beggar could not occupy his accus- 
tomed post without feeing the Camorrista. In the low 
taverns found in many parts of Naples, where ragged beggars 
would sit all day, nay, all night long gambling, the Cam- 
morrista would stand by and levy his tax on every game. By 
what right did he claim it ? No one could tell : suffice it to 
say, no one disputed it. The tax on gamblers was one- 
tenth of the winnings. A rich man, known to be about to 
bid for a house sold by auction, would be waited on by a 
Camorrista and informed that unless he paid a certain sum to 
the society the latter would outbid him ; of course he had 
to yield. From houses of ill-fame the Camorra drew a large 
revenue, as also from smuggling. The police being very 
badly organised under the old regime, leading merchants were 
glad to engage the Camorra to superintend the loading and 
unloading of merchandise ; Camorristi were found at every 
town-gate, the offices of the octroi, the custom-house, the 
railway station, taxing coachmen and porters; nurserymen 
bringing fruit into the town were mulcted in one sou the 
basket. The Camorristi also kept illegal lottery offices : the 
profits must have been large, for a woman who was appre- 
hended was shown to have gained one thousand francs a 
week. In fact, the Camorra speculated on every weakness 
and vice of mankind. Under the Bourbons it even infected 
the army; but when it attempted to corrupt the Italian 
army, such members as were detected were publicly exposed 
with a placard suspended from their necks, bearing the 
henceforth infamous word Camorrista. 

321. Social Causes of the Camorra. These must be looked 
for in the abject state of slavery in which the Neapolitan 
people were kept by the Bourbon dynasty, which protected 
common malefactors to secure their loyalty, whilst the intel- 
ligence of the country, aiming at liberal institutions, was 
persecuted with the utmost malignity. The clergy bravely 
helped the king to keep the people in a condition of the 
grossest ignorance and superstition. Hence no vigorous 
association for good could arise against evil ; fear kept down 
the few who stood at a higher moral level, hence the power 
of the well-organised and flourishing Camorra, just as we 
find, at the present day, Chinese beggars forming powerful 
guilds and exacting donations from the shopkeepers in every 
city of the empire. The Camorra had never been a political 
society before 1848, therefore government did not interfere 
with it ; nay, sometimes they were useful to the police, and 
were, in fact, taken into their service, every one of the twelve 


heads of sections receiving a hundred ducats (425 francs) 
<a month from the secret police fund, whilst the higher 
employes of the force received one-third of the monthly 
proceeds of the swindling transactions of the society. Some- 
times the latter would detect crimes which the police could 
not discover. 

322. The Political Camorra. After 1848 the conspirators 
.against the government, unable to stir up the people, en- 
deavoured to win over the Camorristi, but all they gained by 
this injudicious step was to be heavily blackmailed by them. 
Some of them, having attempted honestly to earn their 
money, and fallen into the hands of the police, were sent 
to prison. Then the sect- became political. In June 1860 
Francis II. was compelled to grant a constitution ; the 
prisons were opened, and a crowd of Camorristi came forth. 
Their first act was to attack the commissaries of police, to 
burn their papers, and beat the gendarmes to death with 
cudgels. The Sanfedisti or the rabble in favour of 
the king and divine right, threatened to pillage the town 
they had already hired store-rooms to deposit their booty. 
Don Liborio, the new Prefect of Police, threw himself into 
the arms of the Camorristi to save Naples from pillage and 
they prevented it. They were formed into a civic guard, 
which kept order in the town until the arrival of Garibaldi. 
But they remained Camorristi at heart. They largely 
engaged in smuggling, and forcibly took the octroi of the 
town gates, so that government on a certain day received 
;at all the gates together but twenty-five sous. This led to 
vigorous measures. Ninety Camorristi were arrested in one 
night ; the next day the octroi yielded 3400 francs. On the 
establishment of the regular monarchy, Silvio Spaventa, a 
patriot of the year 1848, became Minister of Police; one of 
his first measures was to deal with the Camorra. He had 
not long to wait for an infraction of discipline on their part ; 
in one night he caused more than one hundred Camorristi to 
be arrested ; at the same time he abolished the civic guard, 
replacing it by a guard of public security, organised before- 

323. Attempted Suppression of the Camorra. But in spite 
of the energetic measures of Signor Spaventa, the Camorra 
was not destroyed ; it existed not in a group of men only, it 
was deeply rooted in the morals of the country. Though 
the chiefs were removed, the sect retained its organisation 
under other chiefs. Such Camorristi as had been sent to 
prison after a time regained their liberty, and resumed their 


malpractices ; they were transported to various islands in the 
Mediterranean, whence, many of them made their escape, 
returned to Naples, and raised tumults in the streets, crying, 
" Death to Spaventa ! " They became powerful at elections, 
and with their cudgels directed the religion and politics of 
the electors. Peaceful citizens were nightly assaulted and 
robbed in the streets of Naples; burglaries became quite 
common. This state of things lasted till 1862. The Southern 
States had been declared in a state of siege, and General La 
Marmora and the Questor Aveta determined to take this 
opportunity of exterminating the Camorra. In September 
1862 three hundred of the most notorious Camorristi were in 
prison ; some of them were sent -to the cellular prison, the 
Murate, at Florence ; others were shut up in the islands of 
Tremiti. Yet the Camorra seems irrepressible. Occasionally 
there would be an apparent lull in its activity, to break out 
again with renewed vigour. It would be tedious to relate its 
doings from year to year, for it continued to flourish when 
the new kingdom of Italy was firmly established : a few 
episodes may suffice. 

324. Renewed Measures against the Camorra. In September 
1877 the government made another determined effort to sup- 
press the Camorra. The market of St. Anna della Paluda 
was the spot chosen for the attack. No peasant could bring 
and sell there his vegetables and fruit before having paid a 
tax to the Camorristi. Besides the guards in plain clothes, 
the market had been surrounded early in the morning by 
police and carabiniers, while a tolerably strong force of 
Bersaglieri was in attendance close at hand. On a sudden 
every gate and way of exit was closed ; flight or resistance 
was out of the question, and fifty-seven of the most notorious 
of' the Order were seized, bound together by a long rope, and 
carried off to the nearest police station, where they were soon 
committed and sent off to prison in parties of ten. There 
was the picciotto without dress and in his shirt sleeves, and 
the full-blown Camorrista, dressed as a gentleman, with his 
fingers covered with rings, and a gold chain round his neck. 
This razzia was followed a few days after by another in the 
fish market, when fifty-nine of the worst characters were 
caught. Yet so tenacious are the Camorristi of their pre- 
tended rights, that two days after the descent on the fruit 
market some of them made their appearance and usual 
demand, which, however, was resisted, and the fellows were 
arrested. The wives, too, of those whom the police had 
seized entered the market, alleging that their husbands had 


commissioned them to receive their dues. In former days 
they would have been paid at once ; on this occasion the 
wives were marched off to prison. 

325. Murders by Camorristi. Another occasion when 
the Camorra again came prominently before the public was 
in June 1879. In August 1877 one Vincenzo Borrelli, a 
leading member of the society, was murdered near Naples. 
He had fallen under the suspicion of having turned spy and 
informer, and entertaining secret relations with the police. 
Accordingly his death was decreed by the association. Six 
members met together in a wine-shop, and agreed to select 
one of their number to do the deed. The lot fell on one 
Raffade Esposito (the Foundling), who seems to have been 
chosen because he had a private cause of quarrel with 
Borrelli, and also because he was himself suspected of want 
of loyalty towards the society, and his fidelity would be con- 
veniently tested by his readiness to undertake the deed. 
Esposito lay in wait for Borrelli and shot him from behind. 
The wound was not immediately fatal, and Esposito was 
pursued and seized by some soldiers, but he was rescued by 
a sympathising crowd. Borrelli's body was carried to the 
dead-house amidst the insults of the populace, and subjected 
to all sorts of indignities. Esposito was made the hero of 
the day ; collections were gathered for, him ; but he found 
it impossible to evade the vigilance of the police, and three 
days after his rescue he gave himself up. He was escorted 
to prison through the streets of Naples by a vast crowd of 
sympathisers, who pressed money and cigars on him, and 
strewed flowers in his path. Some seventy-eight other 
members of the Camorra were arrested at the same time, 
and indicted as accessories to the murder of Borrelli; but 
the judges and jury, threatened with the vengeance of the 
Camorra, found "extenuating circumstances," and the crimi- 
nals got off with comparatively slight punishments. But, 
then, all these wretches are noted for their devotion ; they 
are faithful children of the Church, which kijows how to- 
protect them ; and the Camorra still nourishes, for the papers 
reported in April 1885 a fresh trial of Camorristi, one of 
them having turned informer. A number of them had been 
sent to the island of Ischia, and the first proceeding of 
some of the chief sufferers from the Italian mania for secret 
societies was to form an inner circle of the Camorra, electing 
a president, whose position entitled him to all articles stolen, 
a portion of which he assigned to the thief ; he also allowed 
gambling, receiving a share of the winnings in fact, we 

VOL. I. S 


find that in 1885, under the present Italian Government, the 
Camorra survives in prisons in the same form and vigour 
which distinguished it under the Bourbon despots. But 
what progress or improvement can be expected among the 
lower classes of Italy as long as a Pope occupies the Vatican, 
and a German Emperor insults the intelligence of civilised 
Europe by kneeling to that Pope, who is the representative 
of an ecclesiastical system which has always fostered and 
protected brigandage, with its robbery and murder ? 


326. The Mala Vita. The society known by this name 
seems to be an offshoot of the Camorra, since the highest 
grade in it is that of camorrist, and the second that of 
picciotto ; the third was that of giovanotto, or novice. The 
chief of the Camorristi held the title of "Wise Master," 
whilst the Camorrist was nicknamed "Uncle." The society 
first came prominently before the public in April 1891, 
when 179 persons were arrested and tried at Bari, in the 
Neapolitan territory, as members of it. The title of the 
society, Mala Vita, which signifies " Evil Life," is said to 
be taken from a novel by Degia Como, which, at the time 
of its publication, was tremendously popular in Italy. The 
discovery of the conspiracy was due to the disclosures of 
nine members of the society who became informers. It 
appears that admission to the ranks of the organisation was 
only procurable after numerous preliminaries. A person 
wishing to become a member had to be introduced by a 
member to the chief of the society, who would then instruct 
another associate to institute a rigorous inquiry as to whether 
or not the applicant was worthy of admission. All these 
negotiations were conducted in a species of thieves' slang. 
There were, as already mentioned, three grades of members, 
each possessing a separate head, and, to a certain extent, 
separate accounts. 

When the admission of a new associate had been resolved 
upon, a meeting of the sect in which he was to be enrolled 
was convened, and the formality of taking a vote upon the 
question having been gone through, the candidate was led 
into the place of meeting. An interrogatory and inter- 
change of declarations, conducted in the secret dialect of 
the body, next ensued. The novitiate was finally sworn in 
with great mystery. He took the oath with one foot in an 
open grave, the other being attached to a chain, and swore 
to abandon father, mother, wife, children, and all that he 
held dear, in order to work out the objects of the association. 



Humility and self-abnegation were also imposed upon the 
novitiate by the terms of the oath. After the ceremony of 
initiation, the chief delivered a fantastic harangue, intended 
to intimidate the new member by impressing him with a 
due sense of the fearful pains and penalties which would 
certainly attend any betrayal of the society's secrets or 
interests. No one was allowed to join the organisation who 
had been a gendarme, a policeman, or a custom-house officer. 
The principal object of the society appears to have been 
brigandage. The booty obtained in all predatory expedi- 
tions, and the ransoms derived from the capture of unlucky 
travellers, were thrown into a common stock, a certain pro- 
portion being, however, specially set apart for division among 
the Camorristi, whose duty it was. within eight days, to 
divide the remainder among all the members of the organisa- 
tion, an exceptionally large share being claimed by the chief. 

Breaches of the society's rules and disobedience to orders 
were punished by torture and death, the whole society sitting 
in judgment, and the executioners being selected by lot. 
In the event of any person so deputed failing to carry out 
the society's decree, he had to undergo the same punishment 
he had been ordered to inflict. The member was obliged to 
have certain designs tattooed on his body, by which he could 
at any future time be identified. Some of these designs 
were extremely curious, representing angels, devils, serpents, 
dancing women, Garibaldi's portrait, and the Lion of St. Mark. 

At the trial, informers explained how, when in prison, 
they, by order of the Camorristi, conveyed letters or money to 
other prisoners belonging to the society ; or how the decrees 
of the Camorristi, involving outrages upon prisoners, warders, 
and others, were communicated to those chosen for their 
execution. The evidence adduced revealed a thoroughly- 
organised system of outrage and exaction pursued against 
innocent persons, and of revenge committed upon such as 
were suspected of communicating with the police. Severe 
sentences of imprisonment were passed on most of the 
accused ; but the society evidently continued to exist, for in 
March 1892, about one hundred and sixty persons, mostly 
young men between the ages of twenty and thirty, were 
arrested as members of it. Their chief was a man of sixty, 
who had spent some twenty-five years in penal servitude on 
the galleys. His followers were all persons guilty of various 
crimes, such as robbery, assault, and other acts of violence. 
They were, of course, sentenced to various terms of imprison- 
ment ; but the Mala Vita Society still exists. 


327. The Mafia's Code of Honour. This is a Sicilian 
society, which may be briefly described as another Camorra, 
its aim and practices being similar to those of the Neapolitan 
association, with a strong admixture of brigandage and blood- 
thirstiness. The society has a regular code of laws, called 
the Omerta, according to which every member must himself 
avenge any wrong done to him, for not justice, but the 
living, must avenge the dead hence the laws of the vendetta. 
No member is to give evidence in any court of law against 
a criminal, but must, on the contrary, conceal and protect 
him. Candidates are admitted after a trial by duel; the 
members are divided into such as are merely under the pro- 
tection of the Mafia, and such as are active members, and 
share in the profits, derived from smuggling and blackmail 
levied on landowners and farmers. No one guilty of, in the 
Mafia's opinion, disgraceful conduct, such as giving evidence 
in a court of law, or information to the police, picking 
pockets, or being a coward, is ever admitted a member, who 
call themselves giovani d'onore, honourable youths. They 
have their secret signs, passwords, and other means of 
recognition, which they have hitherto managed to keep from 
the knowledge of the outer world. Like the Camorra, it is 
represented in all classes of society. It lounges abroad 
in silk hat, black coat, and kid gloves ; it skulks in dens 
haunted by the forger, bully, or pimp. Generally when a 
murderer or burglar is arrested, the governor of the prison 
gets a hint that the culprit is a Mafiose, and forthwith he is 
treated with consideration. The judge on the bench receives 
a document in open court, and the prisoner somehow has to 
be discharged for want of evidence ; juries, as a rule, refuse to 
convict. When in 1885 the doings of the Mafia were dis- 
cussed in the Italian Parliament, proofs were adduced that 
the society was represented in the antechamber of the 

Procurator-General of Palermo ; nay, the very commandant 



of the Royal troops, holding the King's commission to stamp 
out the sect, was directly accused in the Italian Chamber of 
acting in collusion with the Mafia, if, indeed, he was not a 
Mafiose himself. The stormy discussions which followed 
led to no result, and the Mafia was left to pursue its course 
in unhappy Sicily. 

328. Origin of the Mafia. The origin of the Mafia must 
be sought for in the former political conditions of the island. 
Since the middle of the last century, when Sicily was united 
with Naples, and with it formed the kingdom of the Two 
Sicilies, the island was under the government, or rather mis- 
governmeiit, of viceroys. The few years of the First Republic 
and First Empire of France alone formed an exceptional 
period, during which the Court of Naples, expelled by 
Napoleon, took refuge in Sicily, where it was protected by 
England, which sent an army under Lord Bentinck, and 
a fleet under Nelson, to ward off the French from the 
island. There existed at that time in Sicily a numerous 
class of armed vassals, dependents, and retainers, in the 
service of the feudal nobility, clergy, and large landowners. 
The King of Naples, having upon the advice, or rather 
compulsion, of England granted the Sicilians a constitu- 
tion, this measure involved the abolition of all feudal rights. 
The retainers and vassals thus set free being mostly reckless 
and daring fellows, nearly all turned brigands, whom the 
Bourbon king had no means of suppressing. He therefore, 
to restore a little order and security on the island, took the 
chiefs of these robbers into his service, and organised the 
bandits into compagnie d'armi, or rural gendarmes, who, 
however, while pretending to prevent robberies and extortion, 
themselves committed these crimes. They grew very power- 
ful, and daily affiliated new members. The respectable 
inhabitants, rather than expose themselves to the risks of 
the vendetta, quietly submitted to the exactions of the 
society ; the lower and uneducated classes began to look 
on it as a terrible power, superior to that of the govern- 
ment, and ended by considering it an honour, as it certainly 
was an advantage, to be received among its members. The 
causes of the continuance of the Mafia may be found in the 
sulphur mines of Northern Sicily, and in the agricultural 
conditions of the whole island. Tens of thousands of 
labourers of both sexes, and of every age, are employed 
in the mines, and their condition is one of abject poverty, 
and unremitting, dangerous toil. In the agricultural dis- 
tricts the peasantry are ground down by the " middlemen," 


who rent the estates of the great landowners from these 
latter, and under-let them in small portions, and at exor- 
bitant rates, to the peasants, who, unable to live on the 
produce, are driven into crime. The true seat of the Mafia 
is the neighbourhood of Palermo; no one can go a mile 
beyond the gates without risk of being robbed or murdered. 
In September 1892 about one hundred and fifty of these 
malefactors were arrested at Catania, most of them, on being 
examined, proving to be old offenders. 

The Mano fratema, another secret association, discovered 
in Sicily in 1883, was an offshoot of the Mafia, though its 
members repudiated the idea of being robbers and extor- 
tioners ; they called themselves the instruments of universal 

329. Origin of the, term Mafia. What is the meaning of 
the word Mafia? and whence comes it? The invention is 
attributed to Mazzini ; it certainly was unknown before 
1859 or 1860, the time when that agitator made his appear- 
ance in Sicily. It is well known that he had no faith in any 
class of society except its very dregs, and his having formed 
the vagabonds and thieves, who then swarmed all over Sicily, 
into a secret society of his own, seems well borne out by 
facts. The allegation is that he first formed a secret society 
called the Oblonica, which word was coined by Mazzini from 
the two Latin words obelus, a spit, and nico, I beckon, which 
being joined and contracted became oblonica, the word mean- 
ing, "I beckon with a spit;" " spit " being taken in the 
sense of dagger, as no doubt the sect understood it, we 
should get the sense of I beckon, or threaten with a 
dagger, which was the usual occupation or practice of the 
vagabonds enlisted by Mazzini. But within this sect he 
formed an interior, more deeply initiated, one, the members 
of which were called Mafiusi, from Mafia, composed of the 
initials of the five following words : Mazzini, autorizza, 
furti, incendi, avvelenamenti. Mazzini authorises thefts, 
arson, poisoning. And the Mafiusi were accustomed to call 
these crimes their pavi, or bread, since it was by them 
they lived. 

330. The Mafia in the United States. In October 1890 
Mr. David Hennessy, chief of police at New Orleans, was 
assassinated. The subsequent legal inquiry showed the 
murder to have been the work of the Mafia, which had been 
introduced into New Orleans about thirty years ago. In 
May 1890 a band of Italians, residing in that town, surprised 
another band belonging to another society called the Stop- 


pagliera in an ambush, and riddled the entire party with 
bullets, killing and wounding six persons. The authorities 
thereupon determined to take extreme measures to end the 
vendetta, which had already resulted in more than forty 
murders among Italians and Sicilians in New Orleans. Six 
persons were arrested and tried, but during the trial all the 
witnesses were assassinated. The men charged were, how- 
ever, convicted, but their counsel succeeded in securing an 
order for a new trial, which was still pending when the 
chief of the police, Mr. Hennessy, was assassinated. He 
had thoroughly investigated the doings of the opposing 
societies, and was in possession of information which, it 
was thought, must lead to the conviction of the European 
cut-throats. He had received frequent warnings to beware 
of assassins, and had for some time travelled with an escort 
night and day. Nothing happened, however ; he, on Sun- 
day, dismissed his guard, believing it to be no longer neces- 
sary. On the following Wednesday, at midnight, he left the 
police headquarters for his home. It was raining and very 
dark, but, as he had not far to go, Mr. Hennessy determined 
to walk. As he turned the corner of Basin and Girod 
Streets, where an electric light threw down its strong rays 
upon him, a volley of bullets was fired at him from a passage 
a few feet away. Though severely wounded, Mr. Hennessy 
turned, drew his pistol, and emptied it in the direction of 
the dark entrance of the alley. Altogether fully twenty 
shots were exchanged. A policeman who was standing on 
the opposite corner ran to assist his chief and was shot in 
the head. Mr. Hennessy having exhausted the contents of 
his revolver, fell to the ground from loss of blood, and as he 
did so, four of his assassins sprang from the alley and ran 
down the street, while four others emerged a moment later 
and went off in the opposite direction. In their flight the 
murderers dropped three guns. They were muskets, sawn 
off behind the trigger, and with the butts hinged on, so that 
the guns could fold into the pocket. These are used only 
by Italian and Sicilian desperadoes. Eleven Sicilians were 
arrested on suspicion ; and from the confession of one of 
them it appeared that the murder of Mr. Hennessy was 
determined on at a secret meeting held on the Saturday 
preceding the day of the assassination; ten members were 
chosen by lot to do the deed. 

In spite of the overwhelming evidence against the accused, 
the jury, intimidated by threats of assassination by the 
countrymen of the Italians implicated, found six of them 


not guilty, giving them, as they alleged, the benefit of the 
doubt. A fresh charge, however, was preferred against those 
whom the jury had acquitted, and they were sent back to the 
onnty gaol. But early on March 14, 1891, a large crowd 
collected at the Clay statue and was harangued by a citizen 
named Parkerson on the case of the Italians charged with 
the assassination of Mr. Hennessy. He denounced the find- 
ing of the jury, and under his leadership about two thousand 
persons, armed with guns and revolvers, stormed the county 
gaol, where the accused, nineteen in all, were still confined. 
The mob dragged the prisoners from their cells and hanged 
or shot eleven of them. On the following day meetings of 
the Stock Exchange, the Board of Trade, the Cotton Ex- 
change, and other public bodies passed resolutions deplor- 
ing, but endorsing as necessary, the acts of the mob which 
stormed the gaol and lynched eleven Italian prisoners. The 
lynchers included some of the most prominent men in the 
city, and the notice calling the meeting, which culminated 
in the massacre of the prisoners, was signed by professional 
men, editors, merchants, and public officials. 

These occurrences led to a temporary tension between the 
governments of Italy and the States, but fortunately for the 
two countries the application of diplomatic oil gradually 
softened and finally dispersed the irritation. The Mafia has 
not since then dared to raise its head in New Orleans, though 
it may well be assumed to be still exercising its pernicious 
influence in secret. And that influence at one time was very 
great over the reputable portion of the community, who 
feared it much more than lawless ruffians feared the law. 
The majority of the Mafia Italians got their living by crime, 
whilst those who did follow a respectable trade got rid of 
competition by holding out threats of assassination to their 
rivals. Every time a member of the Mafia was tried for 
crime, one or more of the jurymen selected to try him re- 
ceived warning, written and sealed, from the Mafia Society, 
terrorising them into a refusal to convict. Probably the 
trouble is not over yet ; for the government action in at- 
tempting to suppress the society on the other hand stirs up 
the Italian feeling for their compatriots, and many Italians, 
who never contributed before, nor sympathised with the 
objects of the Mafia, now subscribe freely. 


331. Languages and Signs. The vagabonds included in 
the above designations occasionally formed themselves into 
associations which were not strictly secret, but held together 
by secret languages and signs, adopted for one common 
object, as is now the case with the Jesuits, and as was done 
by the Garduna, the bands of Schinderhannes at the end of 
the last and beginning of the present century, and is done by 
the more modern brigands and thieves. In the Middle Ages 
France was infested with a band of itinerant beggars, usually 
known as Truands, whence our word truant. They had their 
king, a fixed code of laws, and a language peculiar to them- 
selves, constructed probably by some of the debauched 
youths who, abandoning their scholastic studies, associated 
with the vagabonds. This language in course of time came 
to be called argot, which may be derived from the Greek 
p7o?, an idler, lazy fellow, and the truands were then known 
as argotiers. Cartouche (born 1693, broken on the wheel 
in 1721), the famous robber, also formed his band into an 
association, having a language and laws of their own. In 
England, beggars' and thieves' slang is known as cant or 
pedlars' French ; tinkers have a language peculiar to them- 
selves, but extensively understood and spoken by most of the 
confirmed tramps and vagabonds. It is known as " shelta," 
is pure Celtic, but quite separate from other tongues. In 
French slang is known as argot, in German as rothwdlsch, 
in Italian as gergo, in Spanish as Germania, in Bohemian as 
Hantyrka, in Portuguese as calao. Circassian thieves and 
robbers make use of a secret language known as schakops 
and forschipsti. Among the Asiatics there is a cant language 
known as balabbalan, formed chiefly of corrupted Arabic, 
Persian, and Turkish words. 

The vagabonds who hang about the Hottentots use a 
jargon which is called Cuze-cat. The vulgar dialect of the 

Levant is known as Lingua franca, or bastard Italian, mixed 



with modern Greek, German, Spanish, Turkish, and French. 
European cant consists largely of Hebrew and gipsy slang, 
together with terms borrowed and generally distorted and 
perverted from their true meaning from the languages of 
the countries to which the speakers belong. Cant words 
usually turn on metaphor and fanciful allusions, and fre- 
quently display great ingenuity, wit, nay, sometimes 
poetical fancy, as when French thieves call the iron bars 
in their cell windows a "harp." Certain forms of super- 
stition are common to the vagabonds of the most distant 
countries, and many of these superstitious beliefs are as 
curious as they are revolting. Thieves and beggars recog- 
nise one another by certain signs, such as placing the fingers 
so as to form the letter C of the deaf and dumb alphabet, 
shutting one eye and squinting with the other when looking 
at a supposed colleague. Tramps on begging expeditions 
inform their brethren of the results of visits paid to houses 
or villages by signs chalked on walls or doorposts, or cut in 
trees, or traced on the snow. The begging fraternity t have 
their patron saint, St. Martin, born about 316, who was at 
first a soldier, but afterwards became a priest. When a 
soldier, he passed a beggar standing, with scarcely any 
clothing on, at the gate of Amiens Cathedral. He imme- 
diately drew his sword, and cutting his mantle asunder in 
the middle, gave one half to the beggar ; hence his be- 
coming their patron saint. But such beggars as are, or pass 
themselves off for, cripples acknowledge St. Giles as their 

The fraternity of thieves individually are not fraternal in 
their intercourse ; they prefer working alone, or, at most, in 
couples. But they have their secret language and signs, of 
course varying in every country, though foreign terms are 
occasionally introduced ; thus argot, the French for slang, is 
a term by which London thieves designate their own secret 
language. Some of their expressions are curious : " cat and 
kitten stealing " is stealing quart and pint pots ; " chariot 
buzzing," picking pockets in an omnibus; a "diver" is a 
pickpocket. Why do they call the treadmill " cockchafer " ? 
Whence comes " flurnmuxed " sure of a month in prison ? 

332. Italian and German Robbers. Among associated bands 
of robbers, the brigands of Italy are best known. The band 
led by Schinderhannes, mentioned above, existed at the end 
of the last and beginning of this century on both banks of the 
Upper Khine ; it was broken up by the execution of their leader 
and eighteen of his companions in November 1803. A very 


large band of robbers about the same date infested the 
neighbourhood of Aix-la-Chapelle, and were known as the 
band of Mersen, a small village near Eupen, which they 
made their headquarters. But they were universally spoken 
of by the nickname of the goat-riders, because the super- 
stition of the time supposed them to ride on goats devils 
in disguise when engaged in some robbing expedition. 
Their secret chief was one Kirchhof, surgeon and steward 
of the monastery of Herzogenrode (?), who about the year 
1804 was arrested, tried in the monastery, and died under 
torture. Of the band, about the same time, fourteen were 
hanged in Germany and Holland, eighteen died by the 
guillotine in France ; the rest escaped and joined other bands, 
or were separately captured afterwards. Kirchhof bound 
his followers by a formal contract to keep their secret firmly, 
and rather to take it into the grave with them than reveal it 
from cowardice or treachery. Whoso did so was to be killed 
with all imaginable tortures. And this was no idle threat. 
Christopher Pfister, for instance, was, for such alleged betrayal, 
attacked by his comrade Hannickel, who smashed all his 
bones, cut off his nose and upper lip, and poured dung- water 
over him to increase his sufferings. Many similar and even 
more cruel acts of vengeance might be mentioned. But what 
else could be expected from such outcasts of society, when 
educated judges vied with one another in inflicting the most 
hideous tortures on their prisoners. In 1719 a sacrilegious 
Jewish band of robbers were, as the criminal Judge Schiilin 
reports, comfortably tortured by each man being tied down 
on a bench adjoining a stove kept red-hot, compelled to eat 
excessively salt fish, so. as to suffer the greatest torments 
of thirst, and if he fell asleep, he was to be prodded with 
pointed iron rods. " This is a good way of getting at the 
truth," says the judge complacently. 


333. Reasons for calling Jesuitism Secret and Anti-Social. 
The Jesuits may be classed among secret and anti-social 
associations, because either they, under false names, insinuate 
themselves into, or maintain themselves in, countries where 
they are prohibited. Thus, when banished from France by 
Napoleon, they continued to exist there under the various 
aliases of " Associates of the Heart of Jesus," "Victims of 
the Love of God," "Fathers of the Faith;" the society of 
the "Ladies of the Sacred Heart," and the "Congregation 
of the Holy Family," were female Jesuits in disguise. Or 
because they often act, or coalesce with societies really 
secret, and also because in all parts of the world they have 
always had a vast number of affiliates, who, though not 
openly belonging to the Order, were bound to propagate 
its principles and protect its interests such men as in 
French are called Jdsuites de robe courte. Jesuitism is anti- 
social, for its only object is self -aggrandisement, by oppo- 
sition to the progress of civil and religious liberty; by 
endeavouring to suppress the advancement of literary, in- 
dustrial, and social science ; in fact, by seeking to bring men 

To a state of abnegation, 

Which shall in all things make them willing tools ; 
In short, reduce them to a set of fools. 

334. Analogy letween Jesuitism and Freemasonry. There 
is considerable analogy and similitude between Masonic and 
Jesuitic degrees. The Jesuits tread down the shoe and bare 
the knee, because Ignatius Loyola thus presented himself 
at Kome and asked for the confirmation of the Order. The 
initials of the Masonic passwords correspond exactly with 
those of the Jesuit officers : Temporalis (Tubalcain) ; Schol- 
asticus (Shibboleth) ; Coadjutor (Ch (g) iblum) ; Noster (No- 
tuma). Many other analogies might be established. Not 
satisfied with confession, preaching, and instruction, whereby 



they had acquired unexampled influence, they formed in 
Italy and France, in 1563, several "Congregations," i.e., 
clandestine meetings held in subterranean chapels and 
other secret places. The Congregationists had a sectarian 
organisation, with appropriate catechisms and manuals, which 
had to be given up before death, wherefore very few copies 
remain. In the National Library of the Eue Eichelieu at Paris 
there is a MS. entitled Histoire des Congregations et Socialites 
jtsuitiques clepuis 1563 jusqu'au temps present (1709). 

335. Initiations. From this, as well as other works, we 
gather some of the ceremonies with which aspirants were 
initiated into the Order. Having in nearly all Eoman 
Catholic countries succeeded in becoming the educators of 
the young, they were able to mould the youthful mind 
according to their secret aims. If, then, after a number of 
years they detected in the pupil a blind and fanatic faith, 
conjoined with exalted pietism and indomitable courage, they 
proceeded to initiate him ; in the opposite case they ex- 
cluded him. The proofs lasted twenty-four hours, for which 
the candidate was prepared by long and severe fasting, 
which, by prostrating his bodily strength, inflamed his fancy, 
and just before the trial a powerful drink was administered 
to him. Then the mystic scene began diabolical appari- 
tions, evocation of the dead, representations of the flames 
of hell, skeletons, moving skulls, artificial thunder and 
lightning, in fact, the whole paraphernalia and apparatus 
of the ancient mysteries. If the neophyte, who was closely 
watched, showed fear or terror, he remained for ever in the 
inferior degree ; but if he bore the proof well, he was ad- 
vanced to a higher grade. There were four degrees. The 
first consisted of the Coadjutores Temporaries, who performed 
the manual labour and merely servile duties of the Order ; 
the second embraced the Scholastici, from among whom the 
teachers of youth were chosen ; the third was composed of 
the Coadjutores Spirituales, which title was given to the 
members when they took the three vows of the Society. 
The Professi formed the fourth and highest grade ; they 
alone were initiated into all the secrets of the Order. 

At the initiation into the second degree the same proofs, 
but on a grander scale, had to be undergone. The candidate, 
again prepared for them by long fastings, was led with his 
eyes bandaged into a large cavern, resounding with wild 
howlings and roarings, which he had to traverse, reciting at 
the same time prayers specially appointed for that occasion. 
At the end of the cave he had to crawl through a narrow 


opening, and, while doing this, the bandage was taken from 
his eyes by an unseen hand, and he found himself in a 
square dungeon, whose floor was covered with a mortuary 
cloth, on which stood three lamps, shedding a feeble light on 
the skulls and skeletons ranged around. This was the Cave 
of Evocation, the Black Chamber, so famous in the annals of 
the Fathers, and the existence of which has repeatedly been 
proved by judicial examination before secular courts. Here, 
giving himself up to prayer, the neophyte passed some time, 
during which the priests could, without his being aware of 
it, watch his every movement and gesture. If his behaviour 
was satisfactory, all at once two brethren, representing arch- 
angels, presented themselves before him, without his being 
able to tell whence they had so suddenly started up a good 
deal can be done with properly fitted and oiled trap-doors 
and observing perfect silence, bound his forehead with a white 
band soaked with blood, and covered with hieroglyphics. 
They then hung a small crucifix round his neck, and a 
small satchel containing relics, or what did duty for them. 
Finally, they took off all his clothing, which they cast on a 
pyre in one corner of the cave, and marked his body with 
numerous crosses, drawn with blood. At this point the 
hierophant with his assistants entered, and having bound 
a red cloth round the middle of the candidate's body, the 
brethren, clothed in blood-stained garments, placed them- 
selves beside him, and drawing their daggers, formed the 
steel arch over his head. A carpet being then spread on the 
floor, all knelt down and prayed for about an hour, after 
which the pyre was secretly set on fire ; the further wall of 
the cave opened, the air resounded with strains, now gay, 
now lugubrious, and a long procession of spectres, phantoms, 
angels and demons defiled past the neophyte, like the '"'supers" 
in a pantomime. Whilst this farce was going on, the can- 
didate took the following oath : " In the name of Christ 
crucified, I swear to burst the bonds that yet unite me to 
father, mother, brothers, sisters, relations, friends; to the 
king, magistrates, and any other authority to which I may 
ever have sworn fealty, obedience, gratitude, or service. I 
renounce . . . the place of my birth, henceforth to 
exist in another sphere. I swear to reveal to my new 
superior, whom I desire to know, what I have done, thought, 
read, learnt, or discovered, and to observe and watch all that 
comes under my notice. I swear to yield myself up to my 
superior, as if I were a corpse, deprived of life and will. I 
finally swear to flee temptation, and to reveal all I succeed 


in discovering, well aware that lightning is not more rapid 
and ready than the dagger to reach me wherever I may be.' r 
The new member having taken this oath, was then intro- 
duced into a neighbouring cell, where he took a bath, and 
was clothed in garments of new and white linen. He finally 
repaired with the other brethren to a banquet, where he 
could with choice food and wine compensate himself for his 
long abstinence and the horrors and fatigues he had passed 

336. Blessing the Dagger. Blessing the dagger was a cere- 
mony performed when the society thought it necessary for their 
interests to assassinate some king, prince, or other important 
personage. By the side of the Dark Chamber there usually 
was a small cell, called the " Cell of Meditation." In its 
centre arose a small altar, on which was placed a painting 
covered with a veil, and surrounded by torches and lamps, 
all of a scarlet colour. Here the brother whom the Order 
wished to prepare for the deed of blood received his instruc- 
tions. On a table stood a casket, covered with strange 
hieroglyphics, and bearing on its lid the representation of 
the Lamb. On its being opened, it was found to contain a 
dagger, wrapped up in a linen cloth, which one of the officers 
of the society took out and presented to the hierophant, who, 
after kissing and sprinkling it with holy water, handed it to 
one of the deacons, who attached it like a cross to a rosary, 
and hanging it round the neck of the alumnus, informed him 
that he was the Elect of God, and told him what victim to 
strike. A prayer was then offered up in favour of the success 
of the enterprise, in the following words : " And Thou, 
invincible and terrible God, who didst resolve to inspire our 
Elect and Thy servant with the project of exterminating 
N. N., a tyrant and heretic, strengthen him, and render the 
consecration of our brother perfect by the successful execu- 
tion of the great Work. Increase, God, his strength a 
hundredfold, so that he may accomplish the noble under- 
taking, and protect him with the powerful and divine armour 
of Thine Elect and Saints. Pour on his head the daring 
courage which despises all fear, and fortify his body in danger 
and in the face of death itself." After this prayer the veil 
was withdrawn from the picture on the altar, and the elect 
beheld the portrait of the Dominican James Clement, sur- 
rounded by a host of angels, carrying him on their wings to 
celestial glory. And the deacon, placing on the head of the 
chosen brother a crown symbolic of the celestial crown, 
added: "Deign, Lord of Hosts, to bestow a propitious 


glance on the servant Thou hast chosen as Tkine arm, and 
for the execution of the high decrees of Thine eternal justice. 
Amen." Then there were fresh dissolving views of ghosts, 
spectres, skeletons, phantoms, angels and demons, and the 
farce, to be followed by a tragedy, was played out. 

The Jesuits openly advocated tyrannicide, whenever the 
tyrant was against them. Even that soft-hearted Jesuit and 
Inquisitor Bellarmine, who would not allow vermin to be 
killed, because their present life was their only one, wrote 
a book to show that heretics deserved death ; he also advocated 
the doctrine of tyrannicide. 

337. Similar Monkish Initiations. I may here incidentally 
remark that the candidate for initiation into some other 
monkish orders had to undergo similar trials. The novice 
about to enter the Dominican order had to spend some time 
in the Cave of Salvation (the pastos of the Ancient Mysteries 
and of the Freemasons), where he was surrounded by hideous 
monsters, fierce-looking beasts, and skeleton monks, uttering 
savage and threatening howls ; and he was finally carried 
about in a coffin. Father Antonio, who about 1820 was 
elected prior of the Hieronymites at Madrid, declared that, 
though he would rather be the prior of his convent than a 
grandee of the first class, yet he would have forgone that 
dignity if he had been obliged, in order to obtain it, once 
more to pass through the trials of initiation. He said that 
instead of the Cave of Salvation, the place of initiation 
ought to be called the Cave of Hell. "If I believed in the 
devil," he added, " I should be certain I had seen him with 
his train of demons and imps." 

338. Secret Instructions. It will suffice to give the head- 
ings of the chapters forming the Book of Secreta Monita, or 
Secret Instructions of the Society of Jesus. The Preface 
specially warns superiors not to allow it to fall into the 
hands of strangers, as it might give them a bad opinion of 
the Order. The chapters are headed as follows : I. How 
the Society is to proceed in founding a new establishment. 
II. How the Brethren of the Society may acquire and pre- 
serve the friendship of Princes and other distinguished 
Personages. III. How the Society is to conduct itself 
towards those who possess great influence in a state ; and 
who, though they are not rich, may yet be of service to 
others. IV. Hints to Preachers and Confessors of Kings 
and great personages. V. What conduct to observe towards 
the clergy and other religious orders. VI. How to win over 
rich widows. VII. How to hold fast widows and dispose of 

VOL. I. T 


their property. VIII. How to induce the children of widows 
to adopt a life of religious seclusion. IX. Of the increase 
of College revenues. X. Of the private rigour of discipline 
to be observed by the society. XL How "Ours" shall 
conduct themselves towards those that have been dismissed 
from the society. XII. Whom to keep and make much of 
in the society. XIII. How to select young people for ad- 
mission into the society, and how to keep them there. 
XIV. Of reserved cases, and reasons for dismissing from 
the society. XV. How to behave towards nuns and devout 
women. XVI. How to pretend contempt for riches. XVII. 
General means for advancing the interests of the society. 

339. Authenticity of " Secreta Monita " Demonstrated. The 
Jesuits deny the authenticity of this work, but they have 
never been able to disprove the history of its discovery, 
which is as follows : 

When the society was suppressed by Clement XIV. in 
1773, it possessed in the Low Countries, among other pro- 
perty, a college at Ruremonde. Government had appointed 
a Commission to liquidate the affairs of the Company, and 
Councillor Zuytgens was specially appointed at Ruremonde 
to draw up the inventory ; but being suspected of having 
abstracted, in order to favour the Fathers, certain documents, 
he received a peremptory command to forward all the papers 
found. Among these the MS. of the Secreta Monita was 
discovered. The proof of this may be seen in the " Protocol 
of the Transactions of the Committee, appointed in conse- 
quence of the Suppression of the Society of Jesus in the 
Low Countries," which is deposited in the archives of 
Brussels. The above MS. was collated, and found to agree 
with a Latin MS. left by Father Berthier, the last librarian 
of the Society in Paris, before the Revolution. It also agrees 
with the edition of the Monita, printed at Paderborn in 1 66 1 . 

340. Jesuitic Morality. And even if these Monita were 
not drawn up by a Jesuit, they yet fully exhibit the actual 
principles on which, as we know from history, the society has 
always acted, and that every kind of deception, assassination, 
regicide, poisoning, seduction, unnatural crimes, spoliation, 
perjury have ever been practised and approved by them, 
whenever their doing so could promote their own ends, ad 
majorem Dei gloriam ! 

When, in 1760, the Jesuits, in consequence of the bank- 
ruptcy of Lavalette, a member of the society, were compelled 
to produce their " Constitutions," such doctrines as the fol- 
lowing were found to be contained in them : 


According to Father Taberna, a Jesuit, "If a judge has 
received money to give an unjust judgment, it is probable 
that he ought to keep the money ; for this is the judgment 
of fifty- eight Jesuit doctors." 

In answer to the question on what occasion a monk may 
leave off his monk's dress without incurring excommunica- 
tion, his reply is : " He may leave it off if it is for a purpose 
that would cause shame ; to go, for instance, incognito into 
places of debauchery." 

Emmanuel Sa, another Jesuit teacher : " Promises are not 
binding if, in making them, you have no intention of keeping 

" Potest et fcemina quseque et mas, pro turpo corporis usu 
pretium accipere et petere, et qui promisit tenetur solvere." 

" Christian children," says Fagundez, " may accuse their 
parents of heresy, though they know that their parents will 
be burnt." 

One quite recent instance of Jesuit morality may close 
these quotations. In 1852 the Jesuits of the rue de Sevres 
in Paris had determined to build a splendid Gothic chapel 
on their land. One day money ran short ; every expedient 
had already been tried to raise some, when one of the 
fathers, the youngest, the most in demand in the noble 
faubourg, the most popular confessor, proposed a lottery, 
and himself as the prize. He wrote a hundred tickets, and 
made it known in a discreet manner that the female penitent 
who had the winning number should for three days dispose 
of Father Lefevre at her discretion. The ladies fought for 
the tickets, and, in spite of the laughter and sarcasms of the 
sceptics and heretics, the chapel was completed. 

The public history of the Jesuits, revealing a system of 
turpitude such as has never been equalled, does not enter 
into the scope of this work ; but as our government 
endeavours to exterminate dynamiters, so, in the opinion 
of many, it ought to crush the Jesuitical fraternity the 
" Black International," as it has justly been called. 


341. Various Russian Sects. As Russia has always been 
a hotbed of political secret societies, so it has always been 
overrun by secret religions sects. Among these we may 
name the Soshigateli, or Self-burners, who regard voluntary 
death by fire as the only means of purification from the sins 
and pollution of the world. They abound in Siberia ; within 
the last twenty years groups of such fanatics, numbering 
fifteen, twenty, fifty, yea, a hundred men and women, burned 
themselves in large pits or solitary buildings filled with 
brushwood. About the year 1867 no less than seventeen 
hundred are reported to have voluntarily chosen death by 
fire near Tumen, in the Eastern Ural Mountains. Another 
sect with similar tendencies, the Morelstschiki, or Self-sacri- 
ficers, prefer iron to fire, and a religious duty to 
kill one another. In 1868 such a mystical sacrifice took 
place on the estate of a Mr. Gurieff, on the Volga, when 
forty-seven men and women massacred one another with 
daggers. Another mad sect are the Flagellants, whose fana- 
ticism sometimes becomes dangerous to other members of 
the community. In the summer of 1 869 the Flagellants of 
Balashoff (government of Saratoff), to the number of several 
hundred, on returning from a field where they had practised 
their fanatical rites, suddenly attacked the lookers-on, and 
so belaboured them with their scourges and knotted ropes as 
to kill several of them. Others were trodden to death, and 
others driven between carts loaded with wood, to which 
the wretches set fire, so that their victims were suffocated 
and burnt to ashes. 

342. The Skopzi. But the sect which has during the 
last generation attracted most attention are the Skopzi or 
Castrated ; and whilst the sects mentioned above consist 
almost wholly of ignorant, wild fanatics, the Skopzi reckon 
among their members men of comparative culture and posi- 
tion, as we shall show further on. 



Fact is stranger than fiction ; never was this more strikingly 
shown than in the facts which were brought to light during 
the various trials which took place in different parts of Eussia 
in the prosecutions of these sectaries, on the official reports 
of which our statements are based, and the leading features 
of which reports were published by Dr. E. Pelikan, Imperial 
Kussian Privy Councillor and President of the Medical 
Council, who had personally known and examined many of 
the Skopzi. His work, both text and the coloured litho- 
graphic prints which illustrate it, forms a collection of 
horrors such as would pass all belief were they not authen- 
ticated by the legal proceedings which unveiled them. In 
this work it is, of course, impossible to enter into the terrible 
and hideous details chronicled by Dr. Pelikan; we must 
content ourselves with faintly indicating them. 

Eussian Skopziism arose about 1757 among the followers 
of the sect of the Flagellants, who are known to have existed 
in Eussia as early as the year 1733. The first intimation 
the Eussian Government had of the Skopzi was in 1771. 
They were first discovered in the present government of 
Orloff. A peasant named Andrei Iwanoff was convicted 
of having persuaded thirteen other peasants to mutilate 
themselves. He was assisted by one Kondratji Selivanoff, 
a peasant, born in the village of Stolbovo, in the province 
of Orel. A legal investigation took place at St. Petersburg, 
and Iwanoff was knouted and sent to Siberia, where probably 
he died. His assistant, Selivanoff, fled into the district of 
Tamboff, where, with another companion, Alexander Iwanoff 
Schiloff, he propagated his doctrine ; but in 1775 he was seized 
at Moscow, knouted, and transported to Siberia. Several 
followers of his were arrested, flogged, and sent to penal 
servitude in the fortress of Dortmund. Others, not so deeply 
implicated, were allowed to remain in their home, but strictly 
forbidden to join, or to induce others to join, the sect. 

But these measures did not put a stop to the propaganda. 
On the contrary, Skopziism increased. Selivanoff made his 
escape from Siberia, but was, in 1797, apprehended at Mos- 
cow, and by order of Paul I. taken to St. Petersburg, where 
the Emperor, after having conversed with him, had him con- 
fined in a madhouse. But on the accession of Alexander L, 
who was a weak-minded mystic, and greatly under the influ- 
ence of that adventuress the Baroness Kriidner, who con- 
sidered Selivanoff a saint, this man was allowed to leave 
the madhouse, and lived for several years in considerable 
splendour in the houses of his admirers. He was particularly 


protected by the sometime chamberlain of the Polish court, 
the state councillor Alexei Michailoff Jelanski, who was 
himself a Skopez, and an operator. 

343. The Legend of Selivanoff. The house which Selivanoff 
occupied was by his followers called the "House of God," 
the " Heavenly Zion," the " New Jerusalem," for they 
believed that Christ had reappeared in the person of Seli- 
vanoff, who, they asserted, was really Peter III., born of 
the immaculate virgin, who, as Empress, was known as 
Elizabeth Petrowna. This Empress ruled for two years 
only, then she transferred the government to a lady of the 
court resembling her, and taking the name of Akulina Ivan- 
ovna, she retired, first to the province of Orel, where she 
lived at the house of the Skopzi prophet Filimon, and then 
to Bjelogrod, in the province of Kursk, where, invisible 
behind a garden wall, as late as 1865 she enjoyed the adora- 
tion of the faithful. The " Redeemer," as Selivanoff is also 
called by his adherents, is supposed to have been born in 
Holstein ; that, on reaching manhood, he castrated himself, 
performed the operation on many others, and wrought many 
miracles. Called to the throne, he was obliged to marry, but 
his spouse, Catherine II., in consequence of the " baptism of 
fire " he had undergone, despising him, she tried to have him 
assassinated ; the Emperor being warned of the conspiracy, 
made his escape in the clothes of a sentinel, who was murdered 
in his place. Though Catherine II. was aware of the mistake, 
she ordered the body of the sentinel to be buried with imperial 
honours. Peter III. disappeared, to reappear after a while 
in the person of the peasant Selivanoff, as which he continued 
his former practices, making many converts. He was then 
accompanied by Schiloff, whom the Skopzi call the forerunner 
of the Redeemer. But the government at last interfered; 
Selivanoff was seized, knouted, and sent to Siberia ; Schiloff 
was imprisoned at Riga. The book of his " Passion " further 
tells us that the Emperor Paul I., on his accession, having 
heard of him, had Selivanoff brought back to Russia, as he 
considered him his father, to surrender the crown to him ; 
but when Selivanoff made self-mutilation the condition of his 
acknowledging Paul as his son, the latter grew wroth, and 
ordered Selivanoff, as well as Schiloff, who had also been sent 
for from Riga, to be imprisoned in the fortress of Schliissel- 
burg. Under Alexander I. Selivanoff was set free, and the 
Emperor and his Empress joined the elect. Selivanoff lived 
at St. Petersburg, where the Skopez Sladownikoff found him 
an elegant residence, where he convinced many that he was 


Christ, the true God. But eventually the government thought 
it necessary to put a stop to the ravages of the baptism of fire, 
and Selivanoff was confined in the monastery of Suzdal. The 
Skopzi firmly believe him to be still alive, and that in his own 
time he will take possession of the throne of Russia, where- 
upon castration will become universal. But as before the 
second appearance of the Redeemer, according to Christian 
belief, Antichrist is to appear, the Skopzi maiutain that he 
has already appeared in the person of Napoleon, who is a 
bastard of Catherine II. and the devil, and at present living 
in Turkey, whence, converted to the true faith, he also will 
come to Russia as a Skopez. 

344. Historical Foundation of the Legend. The reason why 
the Skopzi identify the Redeemer with Peter III. is this : 
Peter III. was the grandson of Peter I. the Great, and a son of 
the Duke Charles Frederick of Holstein and Anna Petrowna, 
Peter's daughter ; he ascended the throne in 1762. Before 
him the "people of God," especially the Flagellants, were 
cruelly persecuted and tortured their tongues were torn 
out, and they were burnt alive but Peter III., immediately 
on his accession, granted them a complete amnesty and the 
fullest religious liberty. Hence they looked upon him as 
their saviour, and he, being a divine person, could not die. 
The real reason why he was murdered Count Orloff is said 
to have strangled him with his own hand was the Em- 
press' dissatisfaction with the innovations he introduced. 
He ascended the throne on the 5th January, and was 
killed on the 14th July 1762. The Akulina Ivanovna, 
mentioned in the previous section, who was worshipped 
as the mother of God, and who pretended to have been 
the Empress Elizabeth, was born of humble parents in 
the town of Lebedjan, in the province of Tamboif ; her 
real name was Katassanova. In the year 1820 Selivanoff 
was, from Suzdal, transferred to the monastery of Spasso- 
Euphemius, where, in 1832, he died at a great age. At the 
same time, many of the most fanatical adherents of the sect 
were shut up in the monastery of Ssolovetski, and among 
them the Skopez captain Ssosonovitch, who, repenting of his 
former delusions, revealed to the archimandrite of the last- 
named monastery the deepest secrets of the Skopzi doctrine. 

345. Diffusion of the Sect. According to maps prepared 
by Dr. Pelikan, during the period from 1805 to 1839 Skop- 
ziism prevailed in most parts of Russia, its greatest intensity 
being at St. Petersburg, Kursk, and on the Black Sea. It 
also existed to some extent on the White Sea and in the 


Ural. A considerable increase of the practice took place in 
Kherson and the Crimea about the year 1822. About the 
same time many gold and silver smiths of St. Petersburg 
belonged to the sect. 

From 1840 to 1859 Skopziism seemed to be dying out 
around the White Sea and St. Petersburg, though in that 
town it remained as prevalent as ever. The Emperor 
Nicholas took very severe measures against the sectaries, and 
many of them were banished to Siberia. Others fled to the 
Danubian principalities, settling at Galatz and Bucharest, 
but mostly at Jassy, where nearly all hackney-coach drivers 
are said to belong to the sect. 

From 1 860 to 1 870 the Skopzi increased greatly in num- 
bers, and spread to parts of the Russian empire where 
formerly they were scarcely known ; for they are zealous 
proselytisers, though they will only admit Russians to the 
sect or is it, that they can in no other nationality find 
people mad enough to submit to their rites ? 

In 1865 the Russian inhabitants on the shores of the Sea 
of Azoff made great complaints of the spread of Skopziism. 
Investigation proved the fact : many mutilated men and 
women were discovered. The chief offenders, including 
the peasant woman Babanin, who had presided at the meet- 
ings of Skopzi at Militopol, and was revered as a prophetess, 
were banished to Siberia. But it was soon found that the 
Azoff society formed but a branch of the sect. Its centre 
was the town of Morschansk, in the province of Tamboff. 
On the last night of the year 1 869, says an account which, 
besides much exaggeration, contains a solid . foundation of 
truth, the head of the Police of that town was at a party. 
About midnight he was called out of the room, and a servant 
of the merchant Ploticyn handed him a letter, asking that 
three women then in custody might be allowed to go free till 
the morning, when they would return to their prison. Ten 
thousand roubles in bank-notes were enclosed in the letter. 
The head of the Police handed the letter and notes to the 
Criminal Department. Ploticyn was arrested, and on search- 
ing his residence it was found to consist of a cluster of 
houses, having four cellars underground, where a large 
amount of treasure in cash and bank-notes perhaps two mil- 
lions of roubles in value was discovered, together with an 
extensive correspondence, implicating many rich merchants 
in various Russian towns, including the millionaire Tretja- 
koff of St. Petersburg. Ploticyn was deprived of his civil 
rights and honours, and banished to Siberia, and with him 


twelve other men and nineteen women. The peasant Kus- 
nezoff, for having mutilated himself and eleven other per- 
sons, was condemned to four years' penal labour in a Siberian 
mine. The money found in Ploticyn's house, or at least so 
much of it as had not disappeared, was given to his heirs ; 
the ten thousand roubles sent to the head of the Police were 
transferred to the Imperial treasury. 

The discoveries in Ploticyn's house led to the prosecution 
of Skopzi in various parts of the empire ; the trials extended 
far into the year 1 872, and promised to be interminable, but 
the further publication of them was prohibited. The trials 
took place simultaneously at St. Petersburg, Moscow, Tula, 
Tamboff, and Eiga. Witnesses were summoned from the 
most distant parts of Eussia. Some of the less guilty 
sectaries were confided to the religious care of monasteries, 
and through them some of the secrets of the sect became 
public, as already mentioned above. The official reports of 
the monastery of Solovez are particularly instructive ; they 
were published about 1875, in the book entitled " Lectures 
before the Imperial Society of History and Antiquity." 

346. Creed and Mode of Worship. The baptism of fire is 
the gate to perfect salvation, the seal of God. It belongs 
either to the higher and more meritorious class, the "great 
seal," which involves the removal of the whole organ, or to 
the " lesser seal/ 5 which means simple castration. With the 
strictest of the sect all sexual intercourse, even with a wife, 
is sinful ; our parents, in giving us life, committed a heinous 
sin, wherefore, in some communities, the neophyte, before 
being initiated into the last mysteries of the sect, had to 
write the name of his parents on a piece of paper and tread 
it under foot. In some communities, however, married aspi- 
rants were not admitted till after the birth of the first child, 
and the Skopzi of Bucharest were allowed to have two chil- 
dren before the operation was performed. 

The religious ceremonies of the Skopzi, after the singing 
of hymns, spontaneous addresses and prophecies, consist 
chiefly in violent exercise and dancing after the fashion of 
the Dervishes. At the introduction of a neophyte, however, 
nothing of this kind takes place ; he at first simply receives 
instructions as to his moral and religious duties, the teaching 
being strictly orthodox, so as not to scare him away, but of 
so exciting a character as gradually to awaken in him a re- 
ligious enthusiasm, which shall finally prepare him for the 
terrible sacrifice, and make him ready to pronounce the vow 
exacted from him, by which he declares " voluntarily to have 


come to the Redeemer, and to be determined to keep secret 
from the Czar, the princes, father, mother, relations and 
friends, all that relates to these sacred matters, and to 
submit to persecution, torture, fire and death, rather than 
reveal their mysteries to enemies." 

Their meetings are usually held late at night, and last till 
daybreak. The localities usually are the secret prayer-rooms 
found in the dwellings of all Skopzi, which generally are 
built at as great a distance from other houses as possible. 
In the centre there is a courtyard, surrounded by barns, 
cart-sheds and living-rooms, from which, beside the main 
entrance, some secretly-contrived doors open onto the cattle- 
yard, which is connected with a third enclosure, where 
stands a bee-house, which latter is surrounded with high 
palings, whence there are secret openings to the garden, 
from which there is an exit into the fields. During the 
meeting watchers are stationed at various distances, who, at 
the approach of any suspicious-looking stranger, warn their 
friends by signs, upon which the meeting breaks up, and 
those who are specially afraid of being discovered make 
their escape through the cattle-yard into the bee-house, and 
thence through the garden into the fields. 

When engaged in their devotions the men wear long, wide, 
white shirts of a peculiar cut, tied round the waist with girdles, 
and large white trousers; the women are also dressed in 
white shirts ; in the villages they wear blue gowns of nan- 
keen, in the towns, of chintz; they, moreover, cover their 
heads with white cloths. Both sexes put on white stockings, 
though sometimes they are all barefooted, and carry in their 
hands handkerchiefs, which they call "flags." The as yet 
uncastrated members of the sect are called "donkeys" or 
"goats," whilst those operated on are styled "white lambs," 
"white doves." 

They have a kind of eucharist, at which small pieces of 
bread, which are consecrated by being put for a while in 
openings in the monument erected at Schliisselberg to the 
Skopez Schiloff, are distributed. A priest, Ivan Sfergejeff, 
who, by order of his superiors, insinuated himself into the 
confidence of a leading Skopez, and thus became cognisant 
of all the secrets of the sect, gives details of a " communion 
of flesh and blood," which is nothing less than a charge of 
cannibalism, and of the most horrible, revolting kind, against 
the sect ; it has not, I think, been juridically proved ; but 
people who are mad enough to become Skopzi, are mad 
enough for anything. Legal documents in the archives of 


the Holy Synod show that among the Flagellants such a 
" communion of flesh and blood " existed ; the Skopzi arose 
among the Flagellants, so it is possible that the practice 
of the latter was adopted by the former. Its details are too 
revolting to be given here. 

347. The Baptism of Fire. As already stated, it is of two 
kinds, respectively called the "lesser" and the "great seal." 
The chief point of Christ's teaching, the Skopzi say, was 
that man to be saved must undergo the "baptism of fire," 
that is, castrate himself by means of a red-hot iron. Christ, 
they say, set the example in his own person, which was 
followed by the apostles and the early Christian Church, in- 
cluding Origen and all the saints, who in the traditional 
painting of the Oriental Christians, are always represented 
without beards. Out of regard for human weakness, it was 
afterwards allowed to substitute a sharp knife for the hot 
iron. But zealous Skopzi are not particular as to the instru- 
ments they use. In 356 instances of mutilation of men, we 
find a knife employed 164 times, a razor 108 times, a 
hatchet 30 times, a scythe 23 times ; pieces of iron, glass, 
tin, &c., 17 times. As varied are the localities where the 
operation has been performed. Of 620 cases, we find that 96 
took place in peasants' houses, 19 in prisons, 12 in privies, 
6 in cellars, 41 in baths, 32 in barns, 14 in coach-houses, 4 
iri kitchen gardens, 8 in yards, 136 in woods, no less than 
223 on high-roads and in fields, I under a bridge, 8 in boats, 
I in a churchyard, &c. Though we have hitherto spoken 
of men only as the victims voluntary and the contrary of 
their cruel fanaticism, the other sex are sufferers from it in 
the proportion of about four women to ten men. With them, 
too, the operation is as fearful as it is revolting ; the earliest 
records of such operations on women dates from 1815. 
And yet we find women among the operators. Among 43 
peasant women who acted in that capacity, 5 had actually 
operated on men. The Skopzi, as already intimated, include 
men of rank and position ; thus there were found among 
them 4 ladies and 4 gentlemen belonging to the nobility, 
IO military officers, 5 naval officers, 14 officials in the civil 
service, 19 priests, 148 merchants, 220 citizens, 2736 peasants 
(including 827 women), 119 landowners, 443 soldiers arid 
soldiers' wives and daughters: 515 men and 240 women 
were between the years 1847 and 1866 transported to 
Siberia as convicted Skopzi. Their real number in the 
empire cannot be ascertained on account of the secrecy of 
their proceedings. In 1874 it was known to be at least 5444, 


inclusive of 1465 women; of these, 703 men and 160 women 
had performed the operation on themselves ; 79 men and 1 1 
women underwent the operation twice, first the " lesser" and 
then the "great seal." The male members of the sect may 
be recognised by their puffy, corpulent exterior, and their 
wrinkled and beardless faces. 

348. Failure of the Prosecution of the Sect. The state is 
bound to prosecute and, if possible, suppress the active 
participators in what is an abominable crime against public 
policy and humanity ; but experience has shown that all the 
measures hitherto taken have failed to put a stop to Skopzi- 
ism. The very means adopted for its suppression frequently 
led to its extension ; thus Skopzi shut up in monasteries 
actually converted monks to their schism. State prosecu- 
tions induced men and women to mutilate themselves to 
join the noble army of martyrs. Even the so-called "moral " 
measure, which was introduced in 1850, of dressing Skopzi 
in women's clothes, and putting fools' caps on their head, 
and thus leading them, accompanied by a policeman, about 
the villages, to the derision of the inhabitants, often had an 
effect opposite to that aimed at. The Russian clergy are too 
universally despised to have any influence in stemming the 
evil ; and some of the highest placed of the hierarchy wink 
at it, in consideration of the large sums given by wealthy 
Skopzi for the erection or decoration of orthodox churches. 
The only direct way to arrest the progress of Skopziism 
is to transport all detected members to distant and thinly - 
populated localities, where they must be kept under strict 
supervision till they die out. And indirectly their fanaticism 
must be extinguished by a better education of the Russian 

One of the most recent trials, accounts of which have 
reached civilised Europe, is that of a banker and his niece, 
held with closed doors at St. Petersburg, in December 
1893. The banker, a man of sixty, was condemned, as 
belonging to the sect of the Skopzi, to fifteen years' hard 
labour for self-mutilation, and his niece to ten years' hard 
labour for having allowed herself to be operated on, and thus 
conniving at a criminal offence. 



349. Eva von Buttler and her Sect. This most repulsive sect, 
a diseased offshoot of the Pietists, first made its appearance 
towards the end of the seventeenth century, .though the 
name was not given to it then, but to the sect when revived 
towards the end of the eighteenth century. The German 
word mucker means a hypocrite, a sanctimonious, canting 
person. The original sect was founded by Gottfried Justus 
Winter, a student of theology at Marburg, who had joined 
various Pietistic circles then existing in Hesse and Saxony. 
He afterwards became acquainted and intimate with Eva, 
the wife of John de Vesias, of Eisenach, who, in consequence 
of her misconduct, obtained a divorce from her. Eva then 
reassumed her maiden name, von Buttler, and went to live 
with Winter in the institution of about twenty members, 
founded by him at Eschwege, for the free practice of their 
religion, which, however, soon drew upon itself the attention 
of the authorities, and the immoral practices of the sect 
being placed beyond doubt, the members were banished 
the country. But Winter and Eva were not the people to 
give up their object; they applied to the Duke of Sayn- 
Wittgenstein, lord of a small but independent territory, 
forming part of the former Duchy of Nassau, who granted them 
the free exercise of their religion, and leased to them the 
estate of Sassmannshausen. Here for a time the Muckers 
by their outwardly holy lives deceived the public, but false 
brethren and apostates gradually caused rumours to arise as 
to what went on among the saints debaucheries of the most 
revolting description which compelled the Duke to order 
an inquiry ; but bribes, judiciously applied, and the legal 
skill of a lawyer, Dr. Vergenius, who held a high official 
position at the Imperial Chamber at Wetzlar, led to Winter 
and his followers being acquitted, the former even being 
appointed the Duke's private secretary. The saints being 
rendered over-secure by this temporary victory, indulged 



their propensities to the fullest extent. Eva was a second 
Messalina in her excesses ; in fact, her male companions 
were taught that perfect sanctification was only to be arrived 
at by carnal intercourse with herself. But the birth of a 
child in the community in spite of the cruel and hideous 
precautions which had been taken to prevent such an 
occurrence, precautions we are not allowed to describe 
and the sudden death of the child, at last induced the Duke 
to have the doings of the saints watched through openings 
made in the walls of the rooms occupied by them, and the 
gross profligacy, which was then revealed, and eventually 
confessed by the inculpates, was such, that we cannot give 
the details, though they were all proved in a court of law. 
But most of the ringleaders made their escape from custody, 
and eventually settled in the small town of Luyde, the 
vicinity of which to Pyrmont, with its rich and aristocratic 
visitors to the baths, promised many proselytes, who, in fact, 
did not fail to present themselves, so that a new society was 
soon formed. But in consequence of the statements made 
by one Sebastian Reuter, who by revealing the practices of 
the sect hoped to get an appointment from the government 
of Paderborn, under whose jurisdiction Luyde was placed, 
about twenty members of the association were arrested, 
including Winter and Eva ; but both again managed to 
escape. What became of them afterwards is not precisely 
known. Some of the other prisoners were ordered to be 
publicly whipped, others acquitted. 

350. Schonherr s Sect. Another association of the same 
character as the above, calling itself Theosophers, but nick- 
named Muckers by the public, was discovered atKonigsberg in 
1835. Its founder was John Henry Schonherr, born at Memel 
in 1771, died atKonigsberg in 1826. Two of his followers, 
the pastors Ebel and Diestel, declared the dualistic-gnostic 
doctrines of Schonherr to mean that the flesh was to be 
sanctified by sexual intercourse, and they formed a secret 
association, to which women, of course, were admitted. Their 
practices eventually led to a judicial inquiry, which, however, 
was not pursued to the end, as many persons of good position 
were found to be implicated in the sect. But Ebel and 
Diestel were degraded from their official positions, and the 
latter was moreover sent to the house of correction. And 
thus another chapter, not of historical, but of hysterical 
theology, was closed for a time. 





351. The Term Illuminati. The name of " Illuminati" has 
frequently been adopted by various sects. The end of the 
sixteenth century saw the Alombrados in Spain, 1 and in 
1654 the Guerinets were founded in France, both societies of 
visionaries and ghost-seers. In the second half of the last 
century there was an association of mystics existing under 
that name in Belgium. Other fraternities, calling them- 
selves Illuminati, and formed in more recent times, will be 
found mentioned in this work ; but the society of which I am 
about to speak now is the best known of all Illuminati orders. 

352. Foundation of Order. Adam Weishaupt, a student 
in the University of Ingolstadt, learned and ambitious, and 
attracted by that love of mystery which is a prominent char- 
acteristic of youth, meditated the formation of a philosophico- 
political sect. When twenty-two years of age he was elected 
Professor of Canon Law in the same University, a chair 
which had for twenty years been filled by the Jesuits ; hence 
their rage against, and persecution of, Weishaupt, which he 
met boldly, returning hatred with hatred, and collecting par- 
tisans. The great aversion he then conceived for the Jesuits 
appears in many of the statutes of the Order he founded. 
Jesuits, he often declares, are to be avoided like the plague. 
The sect of the Illuminati was founded in 1776 by Weis- 
haupt, who adopted the pseudonym of Spartacus, but it was 
years before its ritual and constitution were finally settled. 
Weishaupt, in order the better to succeed, connected himself 
with the Freemasons, by entering the lodge " Theodore of 
Good Counsel," of Eclectic Masonry, at Munich, and attempt- 
ing to graft Illuminism on Freemasonry. Many members of 
the craft, misled by the construction of his first degrees, 

1 Suspected of being one of these Alombrados, Ignatius Loyola, the 
founder of the order of Jesuits, was for nearly a month imprisoned in the 
dungeons of the Inquisition at Salamanca ; when the holy fathers had 
perused his " Spiritual Exercises," in MS., they considered him harmless, 
and let him go. 

VOL. I. 3 5 U 


entered the Order; but when they found that Weishaupt 
meant real work and not mere play, they hung back. The 
society was instituted for the purpose of lessening the evils 
resulting from the want of information, from tyranny, politi- 
cal and ecclesiastical. 

353. Organisation. The society was by its founder divided 
into classes, each of which was again subdivided into degrees, 
in the following manner : 

( Preparation. 

' Illuminatus Minor. 

i Apprentice. 

i Symbolic . < Fellow-Craft. 
M ) ( Master Mason. 

' \ ( Illuminatus Major, or Scotch 

( Q + i ) Novice, 

' \ Illuminatus Dirigens, or Scotch 
f Knight. 

i Lesser \ E PP^ or Priest 

Mysteries.* ' | S ince ' 5^ , 

S ( Magus, or Philosopher. 

( Greater . . < Rex, King, Homme Roi, or 
( Areopagite. 

In the Nursery and Masonry degrees, the candidate was 
merely tried and prepared for the Mystery degrees. If he 
was found unreliable, he was not allowed to go beyond ; but 
if he proved an apt scholar, he was gradually initiated into 
the latter, where all that he had been taught before was 
overthrown, and radical and deistic theories and plans were 
unfolded, which were in nowise immoral or subversive of 
public order, but only such as, at the present day, are held 
by many men of just and enlightened views. 

354. Initiation into the Degree of Priest. The candidate 
for the priesthood, the first degree in the Lesser Mysteries, 
was taken, with his eyes bandaged, in a carriage, following a 
roundabout way, to the house where the initiation was to 
take place. On his arrival there his eyes were unbandaged, 
and he was told to put on the apron of the Scotch Knight, 
the cross of St. Andrews, and the hat, take the sword into 
his hand, and wait before the first door till summoned to 
enter. After a while he heard a solemn voice calling, 
" Enter, orphan, the fathers call thee, and shut the door behind 
thee." On entering he beheld a room, the walls of which 
were covered with rich red hangings, and splendidly illumi- 
nated. In the background stood a throne under a canopy, 


and in front of it a table, on which were placed a crown, 
sceptre, sword, valuables, and chains. The priestly vestments 
were displayed on a red cushion. There were no chairs in 
the room, but a stool without back stood at some distance 
from the throne, facing it. The candidate, on being intro- 
duced, was told to choose between the things on the table 
or the vestments on the cushion. Should he, contrary to all 
expectation, declare for the crown and its concomitants, he 
would at once be expelled ; but if he chose the priestly 
dress, he was addressed with, " All hail, thou noble one ! " 
and invited to take a seat on the 'stool and listen to the 
explanation of his future duties, which, as intimated above, 
were simply to act as an instructor of the uninitiated. The 
lecture being ended, a door at the back was opened, and the 
friend who had introduced the candidate entered in the 
priest's dress, which consisted of a white woollen toga, 
descending to the feet ; the neck and sleeves were edged 
with scarlet silk ribbons, a silk girdle of the same colour 
encircled the waist. The deacon alone had, moreover, a red 
cross, about a foot long, on his left breast. The candidate 
was led into the inner room, the door of which had in the 
meantime been opened, and in which was seen an altar, covered 
with red cloth ; above it hung a painted or carved crucifix. 
On the altar itself were placed the book of the ritual, a Bible 
bound in red, a small glass dish with honey, and a glass jug 
with milk in it. A burning lamp hung over the head of the 
deacon, who faced the altar ; the priests sat on both sides, on 
red-cushioned benches. The candidate was admonished, and 
promised to renounce the enemies of mankind, evil desires, 
the spirit of oppression, and deception ; having done this, he 
was divested of his masonic clothing, and having promised 
in presence of the crucifix to be faithful to the Order, the 
assistants put on him the priestly dress, and then let him eat 
some of the honey and drink some of the milk, as a sealing 
of their covenant. The priest's sign was laying both hands 
in the form of a cross flat on the head ; the grip consisted in 
presenting a fist, with the thumb held straight up ; the other 
would then make a fist, pressing it on that presented to him, 
but so as to enclose the vertically presented thumb. The 
word was INRI. Then followed a long lecture of a moral 
and scientific character. 

355. Initiation into the Degree of Regent. This degree was 
-conferred only on such persons as by high intellectual attain- 
ments, social position, and tried fidelity, were considered 
capable of advancing the objects of the Order. The place of 


reception consisted of three rooms. In the last there stood! 
a raised richly-decorated red throne under a canopy for the 
Provincial ; to the right stood a white column, about seven 
feet high, on which was placed a crown, resting on a red 
cushion ; suspended from the column were a shepherd's 
crook of white wood and an artificial palm branch. On the 
left hand stood a table with a red cover, on which were 
placed the garments of the Regent, which consisted of a 
kind of cuirass made of white leather, with a red cross on it. 
Over this was worn a white cloak, with another red cross 
embroidered on it. The collar and cuffs were red. The 
Regents wore tall white hats with red feathers, and red laced 
half-boots on their feet. The cross on the cuirass of the 
Provincial was irradiated with golden rays. The room was 
hung with red, and well lighted up. The Provincial alone 
occupied it, seated on the throne ; the other Regents were 
in the middle room. The first room was set aside for pre- 
paration; it was hung with black, and in its centre, on a 
platform, stood a complete human skeleton, at whose feet 
lay a crown and a sword. The candidate was led into this 
room ; his hands were manacled, and he was left alone for a 
little while, during which time he could hear the conversation 
carried on in the middle room. Who has brought this slave 
hither ? He came and knocked. What does he seek ? 
Freedom ; he beseeches you to free him from his bonds. 
Why does he not apply to those who have bound him ? 
They will not set him free ; his servitude benefits them. 
Who has made him a slave ? Society, the State, false Reli- 
gion. . . . Does he respect persons ? Ask him who was the 
man whose skeleton he sees before him ; was he a king, 
nobleman, or beggar ? He does not know ; he only knows 
that he was a man like one of ourselves. He wants only to 
be a man. Then let him be introduced. The candidate was 
then brought into the middle, and finally into the last room, 
and after some more catechising, invested with the dress of 
the Regent. The sign was holding out both arms towards a 
brother ; the grip taking hold of his elbows, as if to support 
or raise him up ; the word was Redemtis. 

356. The Greater Mysteries. Such was the initiation into 
the Lesser Mysteries. The Greater Mysteries, with their two 
degrees of Magus and Rex, were never worked out by Philo, 
as Baron de Knigge called himself. But according to state- 
ments found in the writings of Weishaupt, the Magus degree 
was to be founded on the principles of Spinoza, showing all 
to be material, God and the world One, and all religions 


human inventions. The second, or degree of Homo Eex, 
taught that every peasant, citizen, or father of a family 
is a sovereign, as in patriarchal life, to which all mankind 
must be brought back, and that consequently all state 
authority must be abolished. Weishaupt never intended 
these degrees to become known to any but the most trust- 
worthy of his followers ; but the discovery of his corre- 
spondence and secret papers revealed also this part of his 

357. Nomenclature and Secret Writing of Order. The most 
important person of the Order after Weishaupt was Baron 
-de Knigge, who assumed the pseudonym of " Philo." All 

the leading members equally adopted such pseudonyms. 
Thus we have seen that Weishaupt took the name of 
Spartacus, who in Pompey's time headed the insurrection of 
slaves ; Zwack, a lawyer, was known among the initiated as 
" Cato"; Nicolai, bookseller, as "Lucian" ; Professor Westen- 
rieder, as "Pythagoras"; Canon Hertel, as " Marius " ; and 
so on. The places whence the members wrote to one another 
were also designated by fictitious names : thus Bavaria was 
called Achaia ; Munich was called Athens ; Frankf urt-on-the- 
Main became Thebes ; Heidelberg, Utica ; and so on. The 
brethren dated their letters according to the Persian era, 
called after the king who began to rule in Persia in 632 


before Christ, Jezdegerd, and the year began with them on 
the 2 1st March. They corresponded, till initiated into the 
higher degrees, in cypher, which consisted in numbers corre- 
sponding to letters in the following order : 

12 ii 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 i 13 14 

a b c d e f g h i k I m n o 

15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 

p q r s t u w x y z. 

When admitted to the higher degrees, they used either the 
one or the other hieroglyphic shown on page 309. 

The word Order was never written in full, but always in- 
dicated by a circle with a dot in the centre, thus 0. 

The Order made considerable progress, including amoDg 
its members priests, prelates, ministers, physicians, princes, 
and sovereign dukes. No doubt, few of them were initiated 
into the higher degrees. The Elector of Bavaria became 
alarmed at the political tenets betrayed by some recreant 
brothers of the Order, and at once suppressed it in all his 

358. Secret Papers and Correspondence. It was only after 
the suppression of the Order that the mode of initiation into 
the higher degrees, and the true doctrines taught therein, 
became known. A collection of original papers and corre- 
spondence was found, by illegally searching the house of 
Zwack, in 1786. In the following year a much larger col- 
lection was found at the house of Baron Bassus, a member. 
From these we learn that one of the chief means recom- 
mended by the leaders for the success of the Order was that 
of gaining over the women not a bad plan, and not objec- 
tionable when the aim is a good one. " There is no way of 
influencing men so powerfully as by means of the women," 
says the instructor. "These should, therefore, be our chief 
study. We should insinuate ourselves into their good 
opinion, give them hints of emancipation from the tyranny 
of public opinion, and of standing up for themselves ; it will 
be an immense relief to their enslaved minds to be freed 
from any one bond of restraint, and it will fire them the 
more, and cause them to work for us with zeal," &c. Similar 
views are enunciated in a letter found among the corre- 
spondence : "The proposal of Hercules (a member not 
identified) to establish a Minerval school for girls is excel- 
lent, but requires circumspection. . . . We cannot improve 
the world without improving the women. . . . But how 
shall we get hold of them? How will their mothers, 


immersed in prejudices, consent that others shall influence 
their education ? We must begin with grown girls. Her- 
cules proposes the wife of Ptolemy Magus. I have no 
objection; and I have four stepdaughters, fine girls. The 
eldest in particular is excellent. She is twenty-four, has 
read much, and is above all prejudices. They have many 
acquaintances. ... It may immediately be a very pretty 
society. . . . No man must be admitted. This will make them 
become more keen, and they will go much farther than if we 
were present. . . . Leave them to the scope of their own 
fancies, and they will soon invent mysteries which will put 
us to the blush. . . . They will be our great apostles. . . . 
Ptolemy's wife must direct them, and she will be instructed 
by Ptolemy, and my stepdaughters will consult with me. 
. . . But I am doubtful whether the association will be 
durable women are fickle and impatient. Nothing will 
please them but hurrying from degree to degree . . . which 
will soon lose their novelty and influence. To rest seriously 
in one rank, and to be silent when they have found out that 
the whole is a cheat (!), is a work of which they are incapable. 
. . . Nay, there is a risk that they may take it into their 
heads to give things an opposite turn, and then, by the arts 
in which they are adepts by nature, they may turn our order 
upside down." And a circumstance, affecting the personal 
character of the founder, which was brought to light by the dis- 
covery of the secret correspondence, but was totally uncon- 
nected with the principles advocated by the Order, contributed 
as much as anything else to give the Order of the Illuminati a 
bad name. Another circumstance was taken advantage of by 
the enemies of the Order to crush it. In the handwriting of 
Zwack were found a description of a strong box, which, if 
forced open, should blow up and destroy its contents ; a 
recipe for sympathetic ink ; how to take off impressions of 
seals, so as to use them afterwards as seals ; a collection of 
some hundreds of such impressions, with a list of their 
owners ; a set of portraits of eighty-five ladies in Munich, 
with recommendations of some of them as members of a 
lodge of sisters illuminatce ; injunctions to all superiors to 
learn to write with both hands, and to use more than one 
cypher ; and other matters. 

359. Refutation of Charges. So says Robison in his 
" Proofs of a Conspiracy." But he does not say that this 
" one Zwack, a counsellor, holding some law office " he was 
a judge and electoral councillor in a published letter dis- 
proved all the scandalous charges brought against the Illu- 


minati, showing that the idea of utilising the influence of 
women was taken from an essay on the Mopses, and that 
the list of recipes given above was copied by him for his 
own private amusement and instruction, he being a criminal 
lawyer and judge, from the works of the Jesuit Kircher 
and other orthodox authorities, and had not the slightest 
connection with the Illuminati. The " set of portraits of 
eighty-five ladies in Munich " was actually stolen by the 
police from the wardrobe of Von Zwack's wife ! 

360. Suppression. The society having been established 
in the small state of Bavaria, and so quickly suppressed, 
never made any lasting impression on the affairs of its own 
time, nor on those of the future. All the terrible effects 
attributed to its doctrines by Robison and other opponents 
of the Order existed more in the imagination of the writers 
than in reality. If, as Robison says, the founders only 
wanted liberty to indulge their ambition and passions, they 
might, and, according to the secret correspondence quoted, 
seem to, have done so without the cumbrous machinery of a 
society whose members appeared so unmanageable. Weis- 
haupt was deprived of his professor's chair, and banished 
from Bavaria, but with a pension of eight hundred florins, 
which he refused. He first went to Regensburg, and after- 
wards entered the service of the Duke of Saxe-Gotha. Zwack 
also was banished, and went into the service of the Prince of 
Salms, who soon after had so great a hand in the disturbances 
in Holland. Of the German society of the Illuminati, it may 
truly be said that it was before its time; all enlightened 
nations now adopt and advocate its aims. But it was not 
without its influence 011 the French Revolution, and it 
may have inspired Bahrdt with the idea of the German 

361. Illuminati in France. As early as the year 1782, 
Philo and Spartacus had formed the plan of introducing 
Illuminism into France, especially as some adepts already 
existed in that country. Dietrich, the Mayor of Strasbourg, 
was one of them ; Mirabeau was another, who had been 
initiated at Berlin, to which city he had been sent by 
Louis XVI. on a secret mission. On his return to France 
he initiated the Abb6 Talleyrand de Perigord, and Bode, privy 
councillor, at Weimar, known in the sect as Amelius, and 
William, Baron deBusch, whose sectarian name was Bayard, 
who shortly after came to Paris, continued the work of 
initiation, choosing their adepts chiefly in the masonic 
lodges. The most zealous and trusted members were formed 


into a " Secret Committee of United Friends." According 
to a book published about 1790, and entitled " La Secte des 
Illumines," their manner of initiation, their oaths and doc- 
trines, were of the most frighful kind. Let us go a little 
into details. 

362. Ceremonies of Initiation. The large mansion of 
Ermenoiiville, about thirty miles from Paris, and belonging 
to the Marquis de Gerardin, who gave J. J. Rousseau during 
the last days of his life an asylum, and afterwards a tomb on 
his estate, was said to be the chief lodge of Illuminism. 
The famous impostor Saint Germain presided in it. On the 
day of initiation the candidate was led through a long dark 
passage into a large hall hung with black. By the feeble 
light of sepulchral lamps he perceived corpses wrapped up 
in shrouds. In the centre of the hall stood an altar built up 
of human skeletons ; spectres wandered through the hall 
and disappeared, leaving an evil odour behind. At last two 
men disguised as spectres appeared, tied a pink ribbon, 
smeared with blood, and having the image of the Lady of 
Loretto on it, round his forehead. Into his hand they placed 
a crucifix, and hung an amulet round his neck. His clothes 
were laid on a funeral pyre ; on his body they painted crosses 
with blood. His pudenda were tied up with string. Five 
terrific figures, armed with daggers, and clothed in blood- 
stained garments, approached him, fell down before him, 
and prayed. At the end of an hour or so the candidate 
heard mourning sounds, the pyre was lit up, and his clothes 
burnt. A gigantic semi-transparent form arose from the 
flames ; the five figures on the ground fell into fearful con- 
vulsions ; and the voice of an invisible hierophant burst 
from the vault, and uttered the following oaths, which the 
neophyte had to repeat : 

"In the name of the Crucified, I swear to sever all bonds 
uniting me with father, mother, brothers, sisters, wife, rela- 
tions, friends, mistress, king, superiors, benefactors, or any 
other man to whom I have promised faith, obedience, grati- 
tude, or service. 

" Name the place where thou art born. To live henceforth 
in another sphere, which thou will not reach till thou hast 
renounced this poisoned globe cursed by Heaven. 

" From this moment thou shalt reveal to thy new chief 
all thou shalt have heard, learned, and discovered, and also 
to seek after and spy into things that might otherwise escape 
thy notice. 

" Honour the aqua To/ana as a sure, quick, and necessary 


means of ridding the earth, by death or stupefaction, of those 
who revile truth, or seek to wrest it from our hands. 

"Avoid Spain, Naples, and every other accursed country; 
also avoid all temptation to betray what thou hast now 
heard. Lightning does not strike so quickly as the dagger 
which will reach thee wherever thou mayest be." 

The candidate having repeated these words, a candlestick 
with seven black wax tapers was placed before him, together 
with a vessel full of human blood. He had to wash himself 
with the blood, and drink half a glassful. Then the string 
round the pudenda was untied, he was placed in a bath, and 
on leaving it regaled with a dish of roots. 

363. Credibility of above Account. No doubt all this 
sounds very horrible, and is very incredible. But as to the 
horrors, they were simply theatrical ; and as to credibility, 
writers near the time when these horrors were said to have 
been practised seriously believed in them ! The Abbe 
Barruel, who gives some of the above details in his work, 
"Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism," does 
" not hesitate to consider them as historical truth." 

The Marquis de Jouffroi, in his "Dictionary of Social 
Errors," positively asserts that the meetings at Ermenonville 
were scenes of the grossest debauchery. Why should we 
doubt that they also were occasions for all sorts of ridiculous 
absurdities ? 

Note. In the (London) Monthly Magazine for January 1798 there 
appeared a letter from Augustus Bottiger, Provost of the College^ of 
Weimar, in reply to Robison's work, charging that writer with making- 
false statements, and declaring that since 1790 "every concern [sic] of the 
Illuminati has ceased." Bottiger also offered to supply any person in 
Great Britain, alarmed at the erroneous statements contained in the book 
above mentioned, with correct information. 



364. Statements of Founder. This society, of which 
Robison and Barruel give such dreadful accounts, never was 
anything but an attempt at a commercial speculation by the 
famous Dr. Charles Frederick Bahrdt, a German theologian, 
possessing great literary talent, but little moral principles. 
His plan was first propounded in a pamphlet addressed 
" To All Friends of Reason, Truth, and Virtue," and asserting 
that there existed a society of twenty-two statesmen, pro- 
fessors, and private persons for the dissemination of natural 
religion, the rooting out of superstition, and restoring man- 
kind to liberty by enlightening them. "It is for that pur- 
pose," the pamphlet stated, "that we have formed a secret 
society, to which we invite all those who are actuated by the 
same views, and are properly sensible of their importance." 
The society was to have its periodicals and journals, its 
libraries and reading clubs the books read, of course, to be 
those published by direction of the Twenty-two, or in reality 
by Bahrdt. The society was to some extent a resuscitation of 
the Illuminati. Frederick William, King of Prussia, alarmed 
at the progress their teaching was making, allowed his pietist 
minister of the Public Cult, John Christian von Wollner, to 
publish the notorious retrograde "Edict of Religion" of 
1788, which caused universal dissatisfaction, and was 
satirised in a pamphlet bearing the same title as the Edict. 
Bahrdt was betrayed as the author thereof by one Samuel 
Roper, whom, from charity, he had made his secretary, and 
was sent to prison, where he wrote his Memoirs, which were 
published at Frankfurt in four volumes in 1 790. Von Wollner 
was personally interested in opposing the German Union 
and its liberal dogmas in religion and politics, because 
he himself was secretly a zealous Rosicrucian, and the 
Rosicrucians preferred working in the dark. A violent 
attack on the German Union was made in a book called 
" More Notes than Text," and attributed by some to J. J. C. 



Bode, late Privy Councillor at Weimar, and by others to 
Goschen, a bookseller at Leipzig, by whom it was published 
in 1789. Bahrdt having in consequence of study and reflec- 
tion adopted and advocated pure Deism, and being, more- 
over, an advanced politician, too enlightened for his day, he 
made himself many enemies among the transparency 
(Durchlaucht) and parson-ridden burghers of . the various 
cities in which he successively held appointments. He 
gradually lost them all, and eventually set up a tavern near 
Halle, which he called " Bahrdt 's Repose." He died in 1793, 
after which nothing more was heard of the German Union. 
He is known in England by Barruel's and Robison's writings 
only, and misrepresented, to his disadvantage, by both. 
Neither of them being a good German scholar, both have 
mistranslated many passages taken from Bahrdt's works, and 
others they have, evidently intentionally, so twisted to their 
own purpose that of abusing their author that their 
statements, as far as they refer to Bahrdt, and, I may add, 
as far as they refer to Weishaupt, are of very little value. 



365. Organisation of Workmen's Unions. The origin of 
corporations of artisans dates from the day in which the 
oppressed workers and neglected burghers wished to resist 
feudal rapine, assure to themselves the fruit of their own 
labour, increase their trade, enlarge their profits, and estab- 
lish friendly relations. But whilst these ancient corporations 
rose up against the aristocracy of blood and wealth, they did 
not steer clear of the oligarchic spirit. In the first centuries 
of the Middle Ages the journeyman did not separate from 
his master ; he lived and worked with him. There did not 
then exist that distinction which afterwards displayed itself 
so openly in fact, even now, in many German towns the 
journeymen eat at the master's table. Then the journeyman 
was to the master what the squire was to the knight ; and as 
the squire could be received into the ranks of knighthood, so 
the apprentice at the end of his term could establish himself 
as master. But by-and-by it did not suffice to possess pro- 
perty or skill to become a master ; it became necessary after 
the apprenticeship to travel for two or three years, the object 
of which was, and still is, to acquire greater skill, and a 
knowledge of the various modes of working in different 
towns, adopted in the particular trade to which the journey- 
man belonged. On his return, he had to make his master- 
piece ; if approved by a committee of masters, he was received 
among them ; if not, he was rejected, and was not allowed 
to work on his own account. Thus the masters had in their 
turn transformed themselves into an aristocracy hostile to 
the majority, speculating on, rather than administering to, 
the common labour, their interests being opposed to those of 
the workmen. The ostracism which thus pursued the great 
army of labourers, and the segregation to which they were 
condemned, necessarily produced a reaction, which, unable 
to have recourse to open revolt, assumed the form of a 
secret sodality, with rights and customs peculiar to itself. 



The workman, moreover, unlike the master, was not tied to 
any city or country, but could wander from place to place 
a life which, in fact, he must prefer to staying for ever in 
one workshop or factory, where the experience needed for 
the mastership could not be attained. Hence arose the 
ancient custom of the " Tour of France " and the multiform 
compagnonnage, which, whilst a source of pleasure to the 
workmen settled in a town, became a necessity for the 
travelling, the persecuted journeyman ; who thus withdrew 
himself from under the regular legislation, which only pro- 
tected the manufacturer, and joined, as it were, a subter- 
ranean association to protect himself and his affiliates from 
the unpunished injuries inflicted on them by burghers and 

366. Connection with Freemasonry. Freemasonry was early 
mixed up with the compagnonnage, and the construction of 
the Temple, which is constantly met with in the former, also 
plays a great part in the latter a myth undefined, chrono- 
logically irreconcilable, a poetic fiction, like all the events 
called historical that surround the starting-points of various 
sects ; for sects, existing, as it were, beyond the pale of 
official history, create a history of their own, exclusive of, 
and opposed to, the world of facts. The Solomon of the 
legend, so different from that of the Bible, is one of the 
patriarchs of the compagnonnage ; and, like the masonic 
ceremonies, the rites of these journeyman associations con- 
tinually allude to that moral architecture, that proposes to 
erect prisons for vice, and temples to virtue. Further, and 
in the same way, the embraces and kisses of the craftsmen 
remind us of the symbolic grips of the Freemasons, and the 
brotherly kiss of ancient knighthood. 

367. Decrees against Workmen's Unions. We are often 
obliged to seek for information concerning secret societies in 
clerical invectives and judicial prosecutions ; these are lamps 
shedding a sinister light on associations whose existence was 
scarcely suspected. Thus compagnonnage existed before 
Francis I. ; for this king, though he protected the Car- 
bonari, and actually introduced the Carbonari term of 
" cousin " into the language of Courts, issued an edict against 
the former, forbidding journeymen to bind themselves with 
oaths ; to elect a chief ; to assemble in greater numbers than 
five in front of the workshops, on pain of being imprisoned 
or banished ; to wear swords or sticks in the houses of their 
masters or the streets of the city ; to attempt any seditious 
movement ; or to hold any banquet at the beginning or the 


end of an apprenticeship. A subsequent regulation, A.D. 
1723, prohibits any community, confraternity, assembly, or 
abala of workmen; and a parliamentary decree of 1778 
renews the prohibition, and enjoins on tavern-keepers not 
to receive into their houses assemblies of more than four 
craftsmen, nor in any way to favour the practices of the 
pretended devoir (duty). The language of the clergy is 
equally energetic. A deliberation of the Parisian clergy 
of 1655 says: "This pretended devoir consists in three 
precepts to honour God, protect the property of the 
master, and succour the companions. But these companions 
dishonour God, profane the mysteries of our religion, ruin 
the masters, withdrawing the workmen from the workshop, 
when some of those inscribed in the ' cabala ' complain of 
having been injured. The impieties and sacrileges they 
commit vary according to the different trades ; but they 
have this in common, that before being received into the 
association, every member is bound to swear on the Gospel 
that he will not reveal either to father or mother, wife or 
son, either to cleric or layman, what he is about to do or will 
see done ; and for this purpose they choose an inn, which 
they call the mother, wherein they have two rooms, in one 
of which they perform their abominable rites, whilst in the 
other they hold their feasts." Even before 1645 ^ ne c l er gy 
had denounced the tailors and shoemakers to the authorities 
of Paris for dishonest and heterodox practices ; and the 
faculty of theology had prohibited the pernicious meetings 
of workmen, under pain of the greater excommunication; 
so that the companions, to escape ecclesiastical persecution, 
held their meetings in those purlieus of the Temple which 
enjoyed the right of sanctuary. Even thence they were re- 
moved, however, by the decree of the nth September 1651. 
368. Traditions. The members of the compagnonnage are 
divided into two great parties, the compagnons du devoir, the 
Fellows of Duty, and the compagnons de liberty the Fellows of 
Liberty. The former are followers of James and of Soubise, 
the latter of Solomon. The former assert that they call 
themselves the Fellows of Duty because they are descended 
from the workmen who remained dutiful at the time of 
Hiram's murder, whilst the latter claim that their compa- 
gnonnage was instituted by Solomon himself. Their tradi- 
tions are strangely confused. Solomon, we are told, built 
the Temple. James was said to be the son of a famous 
architect, Joachim, born at St. Romily. James, having gone 
-to Greece, heard the summons of Solomon, and went to him; 


and having received from Hiram the order to erect two- 
columns, he acquitted himself with such zeal and skill that 
he was at once made a master and the companion of Hiram. 
The Temple being finished, he .returned again to Gaul with 
master Soubise, who had been his inseparable companion at 
Jerusalem. However, the pupils of master Soubise, jealous- 
of James, attempted to assassinate him, and the latter threw 
himself into a marsh, where the reeds supported and con- 
cealed him, saving his life; but eventually he was discovered 
by the pupils of Soubise, who was unaware of their nefarious 
design, and slain. Soubise long mourned James ; and when 
his end approached, he taught the companions their "duties," 
and the mode of life they ought to pursue. Among the rites 
he placed the kiss of brotherly affection and the custody of a 
reed the acacia of the Freemasons in memory of James. 
A variation of this legend represents Soubise as an accom- 
plice of the murder, and a suicide from desperation. The 
reader will at once see that this is the story of Hiram, 
nay, of Osiris, and all the great deities of antiquity, over 
again. In the Legend of the Temple, Solomon also is an 
accomplice in the murder of his architect. 

369. Names and Degrees. The sons of Solomon assumed 
different denominations, such as "wolves" and Gavots,. 
which latter designation they retained, because coming from 
Judsea to France they landed on the coast of Provence, 
whose inhabitants are still called Gavots. The wolves, 
stonemasons, have two degrees, fellow-crafts and youths. 
The Gavots, carpenters and iron smiths, are divided into 
three : accepted fellow-crafts, advanced fellow- crafts, andi 
initiated fellow-crafts. They all commemorate the death of 
master Hiram. 

The sons of master James called themselves by various 
names, such as Compagnons Passants, Ddvorants, &c. The 
sons of father Soubise were known as " Jovials, or Com- 
panions of the Foxes," or as Drilles, an ancient French 
word signifying " merry companions," and by that scarcely 
desirable one of "dogs," in commemoration, it is said, of 
the dog who discovered the body of Hiram. It is more 
probable, however, that this denomination had the same 
origin as that of " wolves," for which dogs may easily be 
mistaken ; or that it refers to the star Sirius, in which 
case the name Soubise might be a corruption of the epithet 
Sabazius, given to Bacchus (70). With the second of these 
branches of companionship, comprising at first the three 
trades of stonemason, locksmith, and joiner, and with the 


third, composed entirely of carpenters, were afterwards 
affiliated other trades, such as those of turners, glaziers, 
weavers, shoemakers, smiths, nailmakers, hatters, bakers, 
tanners, plasterers, and others. With these the probability 
and number of schisms increased ; and the families of the 
"Rebels," "Independents," "Foxes of Liberty," and others 
arose almost as a natural consequence. 

370. General Customs. The square and compasses were 
the symbols of the compagnonnage ; the members called 
each other by the name of their country, because every 
one carried his country with him in himself, and found 
hospitality and assistance among the brethren to whom he 
addressed himself. And the woman that entertained them 
in their tour or wanderings through France was called by the 
endearing name of mother and truly the association was 
to them a mother, that succoured them when they wanted 
bread, and enabled them to refuse working for wages below 
the custom of the trade ; that recompensed the industrious 
and punished the worthless, so that throughout France they 
were denounced and met with no friendly reception. The 
aspirant for initiation was obliged to have finished his 
apprenticeship ; he was instructed in the word, signs, and 
grips, and attached a ribbon of a particular colour to his cap 
and button-hole, received a stick of a certain length, ear- 
rings that represented the square and compasses, and a 
mark on the arm and chest. Strange customs prevailed, 
and still do prevail, in many parts of the Continent, as the 
writer knows from personal observation, at the setting out of 
a member for his wanderings. He was accompanied beyond 
the town by his friends, one of them carrying his knapsack, 
and another singing the parting song, in the chorus of 
which all joined. They also carried bottles of beer and 
cups. Arrived at a certain distance from the town, the 
beer was drunk and the bottles and cups were thrown 
into the neighbouring fields. In some trades they 'hung a 
bottle to a tree, to symbolise the death of Saint Stephen, all 
throwing stones at the innocent bottle except he who was 
about to set out, and who took leave of his companions, 
saying : " Friends, I take leave of you as the apostles took 
leave of Christ when they set out to preach the Gospel." 

371. Customs among Charcoal-burners and Hewers. St. 
Theobald is the patron of the charcoal-burners, one of the 
oldest trade corporations. There were three degrees aspirant, 
master, and hewer. The aspirant was called gudpier. A white 
tablecloth was spread on the ground, and a salt-cellar, a cup 

VOL. I. x 


of water, a lighted taper, and a crucifix placed on it. The 
kneeling aspirant swore on the salt and water faithfully to 
keep the secrets of the association. He was then taught the 
words by which he could know, and make himself known to, 
his brethren in the forest, as well as the symbolic meaning 
of the objects before him : the tablecloth signified the wind- 
ing-sheet in which every man shall be wrapped up ; the taper, 
the lights burning round the deathbed; the cross, man's 
redemption; the salt, the theological virtues. This ritual 
was austere and sad, like the existence of the poor charcoal- 
burners, whose joys are numbered, but whose griefs and 
privations are endless : it prevailed in the Jura, the Alps, 
and the Black Forest. The catechism of the hewers contains 
passages of pathetic simplicity. Segregated in the immense 
forest, they fix their eyes on the heaven above and the earth 
beneath; their religion bears a resemblance to that of the 
pilots of Homer ; earth and heaven, nature and God, such is 
their worship, whence arises a moral of tender and passionate 

" Q. Whence come ye, cousin of the oak? 

A. From the forest. 

Q. Where is your father ? 

A. Eaise your eyes to heaven. 

Q. Where is your mother ? 

A. Cast your eyes on the earth. 

Q. What worship do you pay to your father ? 

A. Homage and respect. 

Q. What things do you bestow on your mother ? 

A. My care during life, and my body afterwards. 

Q. If I want help, what will you give me ? 

A. I will share with you half my day's earnings and my 
bread of sorrow ; you shall rest in my hut and warm yourself 
at my fire." 

How much resignation in this brief dialogue, how much 
warm affection ! Another society of hewers, called the society 
of the " Prodigal Son," had a still more dismal ritual. Over 
three doors of a symbolic tower was written: "The past 
deceives me ; the present tortures me ; the future terrifies 
me." A triangle with the letters S. J. P. reminded them of 
the wisdom of Solomon, the patience of Job, and the repent- 
ance of the Prodigal Son. On the white apron was represented 
a heart surrounded with black, over which rolled a red tear, 
a tear of blood and despair. The pangs and wretchedness 
of life depressed the imagination of these poor woodmen ; 
still they had faith in Time as the repairer of all, and on one 


of their symbolic objects they wrote, Le temps vient a bout de 
tout. Another society, of which very little is known, called 
itself Moins didble que noir ; as if to indicate that the black- 
ness of their outside did not prevent goodness of heart. 

372. Customs in various other Trades. The saddlers and 
shoemakers had their own initiatory practices. In the room 
where the initiation took place there arose a rough altar, 
on which were placed a crucifix, tapers, a missal, and what- 
ever is necessary for the celebration of divine service. This 
was performed, many peculiar phrases being intermingled 
therewith; after which the neophyte was made acquainted 
with the rites of the devoir, the signs and passwords, and the 
symbolic meaning of the forms and jewels. The reception of 
the hatters in its purifications and funereal myth approached 
still nearer to the ancient initiations. A stage or dais was 
erected in a large hall ; on the stage were placed a cross, a 
crown of thorns, a palm branch, and all the instruments of 
the Passion of Christ. Close by stood a large basin of water. 
The aspirant represented Christ, and passed through the 
various episodes of the Passion of the Redeemer ; and finally 
knelt down before the basin, when the water, the baptism of 
regeneration, was poured on his head. No doubt the 
original institutors of this rite had honest and elevated views ; 
but in course of time the whole degenerated into a farce a la 
Ran -Tan Club. In the reception of the tailors the candidate 
was led into a room, in the centre of which stood a table 
covered with a white cloth, whereon were placed a loaf of 
bread, a salt-cellar overturned, three sugar loaves, and three 
needles. He also passed through the various stages of the 
Passion of Christ. He was then conducted to a second room, 
where a banquet was prepared, and, as it is asserted, pictures 
were exhibited of the vie galante of three journeymen tailors, 
pleasing to the senses ; which may remind us of the peculiar 
worship entering into all the ancient mysteries. 

These initiations gave a certain importance to the various 
trade-unions and their members ; it was their common patri- 
mony that kept up the esprit de corps, though it was not free 
from the arrogance and exclusiveness which multiplied rites, 
intolerance, jealousies, and enmities, that periodically ended 
in sanguinary struggles the tragic episodes of a drama, 
now barbaric, now heroic. 

Disturbances at Lyons, Marseilles, Bordeaux, disgraced 
the compagnonnage. In the middle of the last century the 
rivalry between the two sections of the stonemasons of 
Lyons ended in the expulsion of one of them from that city, 


and their attempt to return led to the most terrible scenes 
of violence and bloodshed. Even at the present day these 
disputes not only between rival trades, but even between 
members of the same trade, continue. But a few years ago 
the carpenters of Paris at last settled their quarrel by 
arranging that the Fellows of Duty shall work only on the 
right, and the Fellows of Liberty only on the left bank of 
the Seine, and no member of one society dares to trespass 
on the ground of the other. Those also newly received into 
either are badly treated, and called by opprobrious names; 
for instance, as among German students, renards, foxes. 
Once these latter would no longer submit to this injustice ; 
they seceded and formed a society of their own, calling 
themselves Compagnons Renards de la libertd, though they 
did not think it wrong to treat their aspirants in the same 
cruel manner in which they had been treated themselves ! 

How intense was the hatred once between the Duty and 
the Liberty workmen may be inferred from a stanza of a 
song once current among the former : 

" Tous ces Gavots infames 
Iront dans les enfers, 
Bruler dedans les flammes 
Comme des Lucifers." 


373. Huntsman's Phraseology. In the woods infested by 
robbers we meet with the first germs of these corporations, 
with rough but characteristic customs. Charcoal-burners 
and hunters need means to recognise each other, so as not to 
shake hands with an enemy. Grimm has collected upwards 
of two hundred venatic terms and phrases. The questions 
and answers of the wandering journeymen have a great 
resemblance to those of hunters ; the intonation is the same, 
and both make great use of the symbolic numbers three 
and seven. The formula necessarily have reference to the 
various incidents of the hunter's life. 

" Q. Good huntsman, what have you seen to-day? 

A. A noble stag and a wild boar; what can one desire 
better ? 

Q. Why do you call yourself a master huntsman ? 

A. A brave huntsman obtains from princes and lords the 
title of master in the seven liberal arts. From these senti- 
ments which ennoble the dignity of an art or trade there 
arises often that chivalrous love which renders life gentle, 
and gives it an aim and a reward worthy of it. 

Q. Tell me, good huntsman, where have you left the fair 
and gentle damsel ? 

A. I left her under a majestic tree, and am going to rejoin 
her. Long live the maid dressed in white that every 
morning brings me a day of good fortune. Every day I 
see her again at the same place ; and when I am wounded 
she cures me, and says to me : 'I wish the huntsman safety 
and happiness ; may he meet with a fine stag ! ' ' 

374. Initiation. Artisans, more closely united than 
hunters, did not admit new members into their sodality 
except after long and solemn trials ; their catechisms breathe 
throughout a spirit of brotherly affection and attention to 
moral and civil duties. They were divided into degrees, and 
it is remarkable that the German workmen have long been 



accustomed to the word, sign, and grip of the Freemasons. 
The operative masons were divided into Wort-Maurer (Word 
Masons) and Schrift-Maurer (Writing or Diploma Masons). 
The former had no other proof to give of their having been 
regularly brought up to the trade of builders but the word 
and signs; the latter had written indentures to show. 
There were laws enjoining master masons to give employ- 
ment to journeymen who had the proper word and signs. 
Some cities in this respect possessed more extensive privi- 
leges than others. The word given at Wetzlar entitled the 
possessor to work over the whole empire. With the German 
journeyman also the three years' travel in search of improve- 
ment is an universal condition, and the usual time for setting 
out is the spring. The HandwerksburscJie is even now a 
German institution ; though he is now not so frequently met 
with on the high-road, because railways enable him to travel 
more cheaply than he could on foot. 

375. Initiation of a Cooper. Every trade again has its 
particular mode of initiation; but as there necessarily is 
a great similarity of ritual and ceremonies, their details 
would become a tedious repetition. I therefore confine 
myself to one craft that of the cooper. Permission is first 
asked to introduce to the assembly of companions or fellow- 
crafts the youth who is to be made one of them, and who is 
called the " Apron of Goatskin." The companion who intro- 
duces him says : " Some one, I know not who, follows me 
with a goatskin ; a murderer of staves, a wood-spoiler, a 
traitor ; he is on the threshold, and says he is not guilty ; he 
enters, and promises, after having been ' rough-hewn ' by us, 
to become a good journeyman." Leave having been given, 
the apprentice seats himself on a stool placed on a table, and 
the companions try to upset him ; but his guide keeps him 
up, whereupon he is repeatedly baptized and consecrated 
with beer. The patron then says : " What do you call your- 
self now ? Choose a name, genteel, short, and that pleases 
the girls. He that has a short name pleases every one, and 
every one drinks a cup of wine or beer to his health. . . . 
And now to pay the expenses of the baptism, give what 
every one else has given, and the masters and journeymen 
shall be content with you." The candidate also receives 
numerous instructions how to conduct himself on his wander- 
ings. He is not to be deterred by the difficulties that 
encounter him at the outset. After having passed through 
a forest full of dangers, he is supposed to arrive in a pleasant 
meadow, and to behold a pear-tree full of tempting fruit. 


Is he to lie down under it, and wait till the pears fall into 
his half-open mouth ? Is he to mount the tree ? No ; the 
farmer or his men would see him, and give him a beating. 
He is to shake the tree, and some of the fruit will fall down, 
with which he is to regale himself, leaving some on the 
ground for some companion who may come after him, and 
perhaps not be strong enough to shake the tree. Pursuing 
his way, he comes to a torrent, over which the trunk of a 
large tree serves for a bridge. Then he encounters a young 
girl leading a goat. What shall he do ? Push the girl and 
the goat into the water, and pass on ? No ; let him take the 
goat on his shoulder, the girl in his arms, and cross the 
bridge. He may afterwards marry the girl, because he 
needs a wife, and kill the goat for the nuptial feast, and the 
skin will make him a new apron. Arriving in a town, he is 
to go to the inn kept by a master ; if his daughter shows him 
the way to his bedroom, he is to keep a guard over himself ; 
and on the next day he is to go about looking out for work. 
Perhaps he will be offered it by three masters the first is 
rich in wood and hoops ; the second has three handsome 
daughters, and regales his workmen with plenty of wine and 
beer ; the third is poor : with which one is he to accept 
work ? With the first he would become a first-rate cooper ; 
with the second he would be happy, having drink in plenty, 
and dancing with the charming girls : but with the third ? 
He is to be as ready to work for the poor as for the rich 
master. This discourse, of which there is much more, being 
ended, the novice attempts to run into the street and cry 
fire ! The companions restrain him, and copiously baptize 
him with cold water ; and then, of course, follows a dinner. 

376. Curious Works on the Subject. There exist in 
Germany numerous works on the rites and customs of 
various traders; the following are some of them "The 
Millers' Crown of Honour, or a Complete Description of the 
True Nature of the Circles of the Company of Millers. By 
a Miller's Apprentice, George Bohrmann." We here get 
into masonic symbolism. One woodcut represents a circle 
with mystic sentences, and the explanation says that every- 
thing was created from or by the circle. Then there follows 
the history of bakers according to the Scriptures; then a 
poetically described journey, with particulars of the most 
celebrated mills of Lusatia, Silesia, Moravia, Hungary, 
Bohemia, &c. The names of the three most famous millers 
that, according to the author, ever existed, are placed in the 
form of a triangle ; and the book concludes with an invoca- 


tion to the Architect of the Universe. A work of a similar 
nature is entitled, " Customs of the Worshipful Trade of 
Bakers ; how every one is to conduct himself at the inn and 
at work. Printed for the use of those about to travel." 
Another is called, " Origin, Antiquity, and Glory of the 
Worshipful Company of Furriers; an accurate Description 
of all the Formalities observed from time immemorial in the 
Initiations of Masters, and the manner of examining the 
Journeymen. The whole faithfully described by Jacob 
Wahrmund (True Mouth)." All the companies boast of 
their ancient descent, but none more than that of the 
Furriers, who claim that God Himself was at first one of 
their fellow-workers, seeing that the Bible says that God 
made aprons of skins for Adam and Eve an honour shared 
by no other company. 

377. Raison tfe'tre of the Compagnonnage. The compagnon- 
nage may be called an operative knighthood. Its rites, 
symbols, and traditions are only its ; tangible form. The 
necessity for workmen to find, on their arrival in a new 
town, a nucleus of friends, a rendezvous, a mother, in the 
midst of the exclusion into which the constituted trades 
corporations would have thrown them, was the raison d'etre 
of these associations. The possibility of struggling by 
means of associative force and the passive resistance of 
numbers against the oppression of manufacturers, and of 
equalising forces otherwise disproportionate, was a further 
cause of the sodalities. In the Middle Ages, in which the 
central power was barely sufficient to oppress, but did not 
avail to protect, and when the individual was exposed to 
arbitrary treatment, and deprived of all means of defence, 
secret associations on behalf of justice necessarily arose in 
many countries, Holy Vehms providing for public security. 

378. Guilds. The Guilds had the same origin, but can 
scarcely be reckoned among secret societies, though their 
influence was often secretly exercised ; and kings frequently 
turned them to account in their opposition to the aristocracy, 
as, for instance, Louis the Fat, who was himself the founder of 
an association called the " Popular Community," intended to 
put a stop to the brigandage of the feudal lords, whose castles 
were in many instances but dens of thieves. In England, 
the first guilds of which clear records have been preserved 
were established in the eleventh century. By the laws of 
guilds, no person could work at a trade who had not served 
a seven years' apprenticeship to it. But with the introduc- 
tion of machinery this custom gradually fell into disuse, 


as the small or retail manufacturers of olden times became 
less and less, and the relations between employers and their 
workmen were changed relations such as may even yet be 
found to exist in some places in Germany and Switzerland, 
where one master keeps an apprentice and from two to four 
workmen. This style of industry might be found not many 
years ago in Yorkshire among the small cloth-manufacturers. 
This quiet industry was broken up by the rapid introduction 
of machinery. The small men, indeed, sought to defend 
themselves by insisting on old trade regulations, but with- 
out success; for in 1814 every vestige of the old trade 
regulations had disappeared from the English statute-books. 
The Coalition Act of 1800, not repealed till 1824, often 
compelled the workmen who thus combined to assume the 
character of members of Friendly Societies. Their main 
objects were to prevent the employment of women and 
children in the immense factories everywhere springing up, 
and to enforce the old law of apprenticeship. Failing in 
these objects, they next resorted to strikes, with the nature, 
operation, and effects of which every one is familiar. 

379. Kalends Brethren. These in the thirteenth century 
were diffused through all Central Europe (Germany, France, 
and Hungary) ; they practised charity, read masses for the 
dead gratuitously, but at their meetings indulged in social 
pleasures. They met on the first of the month, whence 
their name (the Romans it will be remembered called the 
first of the month Calendar, whence our word calendar). 
Men and women were admitted, religious and secular, but 
neither monks nor nuns. The brethren, though they read 
masses, were no ascetics, for their rhymed table-law ran 

" Our host shall spread 
Good beer, good bread ; 
Four dishes from which to feed, 
Which he may not exceed ; 
Cakes, cheese, nuts, and fruit 
To follow. Wine does not suit 
The Kalends, it would offend ; 
They its use strictly defend." 

But it is doubtful whether this abstinence from wine was 
always observed, for eventually the Kalends were nicknamed 
"Wet Brethren," and "to kalend" meant to indulge freely 
in drink. After the Reformation the society gradually- 
dwindled away. Of their customs and signs of recogni- 
tion, &c., no record has come down to us. The civic prison 
at Berlin used to be called the Kalends Hall, because the 


building had originally been the place where the Kalends 
Brethren held their festive meetings. 

380. Knights of Labour. A formidable association in the 
United States. It was founded in 1869 by Uriah Stephens, 
a tailor of Philadelphia. It was a secret society, designed 
at first merely to supplement an existing garment-cutters' 
union. For a year or more none but garment-cutters 
were admitted, but after a time other members, known as 
" sojourners," were invited to join the Order. In 1 873 a com- 
mittee "on the good of the Order " was appointed to control 
its growing business. A ritual was devised, and every 
member took an oath of strictest secrecy with regard to 
its name, constitution, and aims. Officers were appointed 
under the titles of Master Workman, Worthy Foreman, 
Venerable Sage, Recording Secretary, Financial Secretary, 
Treasurer, Worthy Inspector, Almoner, Unknown Knight, 
Inside Esquire, Outside Esquire, &c. Each industry had 
its own local assembly, and its own officers ; the local assem- 
blies and the district assemblies again sent delegates to the 
general assembly, which meets once a year, and whose 
authority is final. The strict secrecy observed at first was 

gradually relaxed under the influence of the Catholic 
hurch, especially after the founder had resigned the office 
of Grand Master Workman in 1879. In 1881 the secret 
character of the Order was finally renounced. Its chief 
aims now are those of trade-unions and benefit societies. 


" What shall I call thee, thou high, thou rough, thou noble, thou bar- 
baric, thou lovable, unharmonious, song-full, repelling, yet refreshing life 
of the Burschen years ? . . . Thy ludicrous outside lies open, the layman 
sees that, . . . but thy inner and lovely one, the miner only knows, who 
descends singing with his brethren into the lonely shaft." HAUFF'S JKaths- 
Jceller in Bremen. 

381. Customs of German Students. A fellowship of a very 
different kind, but still a compagnonnage^ is that of the 
students at German universities, to which a few lines may 
therefore be devoted. The student or Bursch from the 
mediaeval German Burse, i.e. Bursarii, the college buildings 
being called bursce looks upon the inhabitants of the town r 
whose university he honours with his presence, as " Philis- 
tines " ; and town and gown rows are as usual in Germany 
as in this country. All non-students are Philistines, whether 
they be kings, princes, nobles, or belong to the canaille. The 
students form two grand associations, the Burschenschaften, 
consisting of students from any state ; and Landsmannsckaf- 
ten, composed of students of the same state only. Each has 
its own laws, regulations, and officers, ruling according to 
a charter ; but all members of the universities acknowledge 
moreover a general code, called the " Commentary." Such 
as refuse to belong to one of these associations are held in 
very slight estimation, and are called by all kinds of oppro- 
brious names, such as Kameele (camels), Finken (literally, 
"finches," figuratively, "low fellows"), and others still more 
abusive. The collegiate students (sizars), called Frosche 
(frogs), cannot take part in the meetings of the Burschen. 
The freshman anciently was called a Pennal, from the 
middle-age Latin penndle, a cylindrical box for pens, which 
the newly - arrived student had to cany after the older 
students for their occasional use. He was afterwards called 
Fuchs (fox), which nickname alludes both to the timidity of 
the animal and that of the new student, and its use in this 



sense is very ancient, for we find it mentioned in the Salic 
Law (fifth century), which imposes a fine of 120 pence for 
applying it to a person. The freshman is also called a Gold- 
fiichs (golden fox), because he still has a few gold coins from 
home. After six months he becomes a Brandfuchs (Canis 
melanogaster) ; to explain the cause of this term being applied 
to him would take us too far, but his arrival at that state is 
celebrated with ridiculous ceremonies. In the second year 
the Brandfuchs rises to the dignity of Jungbursch (young 
Bnrsch) ; in the third he becomes an Altbursch (old Bursch), 
altes Haus (old house), or bemoostes Haupt (mossy head. 
Students who are natives of the university town are called 
Curds, because their mothers can send them, if they please, 
a dish of that article of food for their suppers. To rise from 
one degree to another the Fucks has to go through a series 
of probations, especially putting to the test his powers of 
drinking and smoking. On his first visit to the Commerzhaus, 
as the tavern which the students patronise is called, he is 
unfailingly made drunk, at his own expense, and while at 
the same time entertaining all the " old houses." The next 
morning he awakes with the Katzenjammer (cat's lamenta- 
tion). He dresses in a fantastic style, wearing a Polish 
jacket, jack-boots with spurs, and a cap of the colour of the 
society to which he belongs ; to his button-hole is attached 
an enormous tobacco-pouch ; in his mouth he carries a long 
pipe, and an iron-shod stick in his hand. He endeavours 
above all things to become & flatter Bursch, a student de pur 
sang, and is proud if an " old house" makes him his Leib- 
fuchs (favourite fox). The Philistine who offends the students 
is condemned to the Verruf (outlawed) ; and frequently the 
students have turned out against the citizens, forming with 
their Stiefelwichser (boot-cleaners, or gyps) an array not to 
be despised by the military. The cry of Burscken 'raus ! 
students turn out ! would send terror through the small 
peaceable towns of Germany. Sometimes they would punish 
the town by leaving it in a body, and only return on their 
terms being agreed to. Such emigrations took place at 
Gottingen in 1823, at Halle in 1827, and at Heidelberg in 
1830. A few details of these " emigrations " may be amus- 
ing. On the last-named occasion the students, who had 
again secretly formed a Burschenschaft, put under the ban 
the Museum of that town, because the rules for its manage- 
ment displeased many of them. For this the ringleaders 
were seized and brought to trial. But on the cry of Bur- 
schen 'raus! all the students, hastily snatching up what 


articles they most needed, threw them into chaises, on horses, 
on the backs of the shoeblacks, and marched out of the town 
to Schwetzingen ; and it was only when their demands with 
regard to the Museum were conceded that they returned to 
Heidelberg. Another marching forth had occurred many 
years before. A student, as he went past the watch-house, 
forgot to take the pipe from his mouth. Thereupon arose a 
contention between him and the soldier on guard ; the latter 
called an officer, by whom the student was grossly insulted. 
This gave occasion to an " emigration," which, however, 
proceeded no further than to a place about a mile from the 
city, whence the students at once returned, all their demands 
being conceded ; which were that a full amnesty should be 
granted for all that had passed and the soldiers removed. 
Moreover, the military were obliged to post themselves on 
the bridge, the officers at their head, and to present arms, 
while the students marched past in triumph, with music 
playing before them. But though the German student would 
thus seem to think of nothing but smoking his pipe, to which 
he gives the elegant, but appropriate, name of StinJetopf, 
drinking unlimited quantities of wine, beer, and punch, 
entertaining the daughters of the cits, which daughters he 
gallantly calls Geier (vultures), whilst grisettes are Besen 
(brooms), running into debt, and calling importunate credi- 
tors Manichceans, fighting duels to be called dummer Jungc 
(stupid youngster), is an insult which necessitates a challenge 
and generally ruining his health, yet when he buckles to 
work he will accomplish mental feats that would astonish 
many an Oxford first-class man, or Cambridge wrangler. 
Out of all this fermentation and froth there comes at last 
good wine, and all the intellectual greatness of Germany, 
and much of its political progress, are due to the roystering 
Burschen, of whom I cannot speak but with a sort of sneaking 
kindness, retaining many pleasant personal recollections of 

382. Ancient Custom of Initiation. In the following 
account of the customs prevailing as late as the first half 
of the seventeenth century at the matriculations of German 
students, the reader may detect many ceremonies analogous 
to those practised in the initiations to the ancient mysteries. 

The scholar who had not commenced his university career 
was termed a Beanus, the Fox of to-day. This word has been 
fancifully derived from the initials of the words Beanus Est 
Animal Nesciens Vitam Studiorum, an acrostic, as the reader 
will perceive. But as the word Beanus forms a portion of 


the sentence itself, its origin is not explained thereby. The 
fact is, the word is a corruption of the French Bee jaune, 
shortened into Bejaune, literally, a yellow beak (the German 
Gelbschnabel), a term applied to a young, inexperienced 
person (because young unfledged birds have yellow beaks) ; the 
French term is blanc-bec, meaning a greenhorn. The word 
lejaune in mediaeval Latin became Beanus. Sometimes, by 
way of variety, the beanus was called a bestia cornigera. It 
would seem that a trace of this appellation has survived at 
Cambridge, where a student, who has not come into residence, 
and thus has no claim to be called a " 'Varsity man," is neces- 
sarily a least. On arriving at the university the Beanus, or 
modern " Fox," announced himself to the dean of the philo- 
sophical faculty, and prayed that he might through the 
deposition be received among the students. When the 
Beani amounted to a certain number, the dean appointed a 
day on which to celebrate the deposition ; and summoned, 
besides the Beani, the depositor with his instruments, and an 
-amanuensis. They appeared on the appointed day before 
the dean ; the depositor in the first place put on a harlequin's 
dress, caused the Beani to attire themselves in the same style, 
and put on them other ludicrous articles of dress, especially 
hats and caps with horns, and distributed amongst them the 
instruments with which the deposition should be executed 
coarse wooden combs, shears, axes, hatchets, planes, saws, 
razors, looking-glasses, stools, and so on. The depositor 
then marshalled the Beani in rank and file, placed himself at 
their head, and conducted them to the hall, where the depo- 
sition should be performed, and there addressed a speech to 
the dean and the spectators, who consisted of students. The 
depositor commenced the deposition by striking the Beani 
with a bag filled with sand or bran, and compelling them to 
scamper about with all manner of laughable gestures and 
duckings in order to escape the strokes of the sand-bag. He 
then propounded to them certain questions or riddles, and 
they who did not answer them quickly received so many 
strokes with the sand-bag, that the tears often started from 
their eyes. The Beani then gave up the instruments which 
they had held in their hands, and laid down on the ground, 
so that their heads nearly touched each other. The depositor 
then planed their shoulders, filed their nails, pretended to 
bore through and saw off their feet, hewed every limb of 
their bodies into shape, knocked off their goat's horns, and 
tore out of their mouths with a pair of great tongs the satyr's 
teeth stuck in on purpose. The Beani were then caused 


to sit on a stool with only one leg. The depositor then 
put 011 them a dirty napkin, soaped them with brick-dust, 
with shoe-blacking, or even viler and more filthy matter, and 
shaved them so sharply with a wooden razor that the tears 
often started from their eyes. The combing with the wooden 
combs was equally rough, and after the combing their hair 
was sprinkled with shavings. After all these operations the 
depositor with his sand-bag drove them out of the hall, took 
off his grotesque attire, put on his proper costume, and com- 
manded the Beani to do the same. He then reconducted 
them to the hall and commended them in a short Latin 
speech to the dean, who replied also in Latin, explaining the 
custom of deposition, and adding much good advice. Luther, 
who occasionally presided at such ceremonies, and was not 
superior to the coarse tastes of his time, found in the depositio 
a figure of human life, with all its troubles and misfortunes. 
The dean finally gave to each of them, as a symbol of wisdom, 
a few grains of salt to taste, scattered in sign of joy some 
drops of wine over their heads, and handed to them the certi- 
ficate of the accomplished deposition. The last ceremony of 
this sort is said to have been performed by a professor of 
Altdorf (Bavaria) in 1763. The university of that town, 
founded in 1622, was merged in that of Erlangen in 1809. 

It is scarcely necessary to point out the analogies between 
the above initiation into student life and that into the ancient 
mysteries and modern Freemasonry ; the disguises, trials, 
addresses, and whole ceremonial are all on the model of the 
secret society, most of them foolish, and not a few barbarous. 
Hoffmann's Lebens-Ansichten des Katers Murr "Opinions 
of the Tom-cat Murr," or, as we might say more briefly, Tom 
Murr, is a capital satire on German student-life. The 
German scholar there is, as far as I know, no English trans- 
lation of the work may there see how " Tommy " becomes 
a Flatter Katzbursch. The political secret associations of the 
Burschenschaft are described in Book XIII. 


[The figures refer to pages] 

ABDAL Kader, 125 

Abdallah, 113, 114 

Abel, 14 

Abou Firas, 1 20 

Abraham, 1 1 3 

Abraxas = 365, 31, 95 

Abu, Mount, 41 

Abury, 73 

Abyssal Deity, 39 

Acacia of Freemasons, 14 

Achaia, 17 

Achi, 17 

Acmon, 14 

Adam, 13, 17, 84, 113 

Adam Kadmon, 86 

Adamites, 95, 138 

Adar, 17 

Adeiel, 17 

Adode St. Amand, 1 20 

Adon, a password, 56 

Adonis, 32 

Adoptive Societies, 145 

^Eons, 86, 90, 94 

JEsas, 79 

^Eschylus, 159 

Aga Khan, chief of Assassins, 1 2 1 

Ahdad, 125 

Ahrimanes, 24, 25, 32 

Akiba, 83, 84 

Alamut, 116 

Alba, Duke of, 186 

Albigenses, 92, 138 

Alchemistic Society in Germany, 


Alchymist, last English, 200 
Alcibiades, 16 
Alexander I. of Russia, 294 
Alexander III., Pope, 173 
Alfader, 79 

VOL I. 337 

Alfonso XL, 1 50 
Ali, 130 

Ali Ess Ssahir, 127 

Allah-da-Khani, 125 

Alombrados, 307 

Al-om-jak, 49 

Altes Haus, students' term, 332 

Alydei, 54 

Amalric and Assassins, 119 

Amatore, Joseph, 170 

American aborigines, 67 

Amis Reunis, 215 

Ammirata, Girolamo, 170 

Ammon = Jupiter, 37 

Amoun, 52 

Amphissa, 57 

Ams, 130 

Amshaspands, 24 

Anabaptists, 142 

Anagram, 85 

Anastasius, 91 

Ancient of Days, 86 

Andrea, Valentine, 219, 220, 222 

Angels, 83, 86 

Anglesey, Druids in, 77 

Anima Mundi, 8 

Ansaireeh, 130 

Antichrist, 295 

Antiquity, monuments of, 10 

Puritans of, 30 
spirit of, 6 1 
Anti-social societies, 243 
Antonio, Father, 289 
Anubis, 54 
Apennines, 17 
Apis, 45, 65 
Apocalypse, the, 92, 96, 99, 103, 

108-110, 141 
Apollinare, 259 
Apollo, 44 
Apollonius, 88, no 



Apostolics, followers of Dolcino, 


Appheim, 17 
Apron of Goatskin, 326 
Apuleius, 14, 48, 49, 108, 226 
Aquinas, Thomas, 173 
Arbues of Epila, Peter, 183 
** Arcana Naturae Secretissima," 


Argot, 282 
Argotiers, 282 
Arianism, 94 
Aries, 16 
Arinulfo, 170 
Aristides, JElius, 104 
Aristotle, 23, 115, 139 
Arkism, 12, 74 
Armida, 63 

Arnold, Sir Joseph, 121 
Arnold of Brescia, 174 
Aryan races, 5, 6 
Asceticism, 36 
Aschieres = Ceres, 58 
Aschiochersa = Proserpina, 5 8 
Aschiochersus = Pluto, 58 
Asherah, 45 
Ashtaroth, 45 
Asiatic brethren, fees payable by, 

235, 238 
Aspirants, 15 
Assassins, 116-122, 243 
Assideans, 98 
Assyrian tablets, 32 
Astarte, 32 

Astrology, decay of, 197 
Astronomical aspect of mysteries, 

13, 26, 44, 58, 65, 78, 80, 96 
Athenian women mourning loss 

of light, 6 1 
Athens, 57 
Attraction first property of nature, 


Atys, 14, 58 
Augustin, St., 8, 103 
Aulse, a Thug sect, 246 
Aum, 39 
Austria, 17 
Auto-da-fe, 174 

at Madrid, 188 

at Seville, 175, 176 

at Valladolid, 185, 186, 187 

Avignon, Illuminati of, 214, 216 

torture chamber at, 179 
Axite pays worship to Buddha, 



BAADER, expounder of Bohme, 


Babanin, a female Skopez, 296 
Bacchus, 57, 58 
Bacher, 17 
Bactriana, 23 

Bahrdt, C. F., 87, 228, 312, 315 
Bajjada destroyed, 129 
Balahate, 54 
Balder, 14, 78, 79 
Baldwin II., 152 
Bandits insuring travellers' safety, 


Baphomet, 106, 159 
Baptism of fire of Skopzi, 297, 

Baiaam, 91 

Barato, 264 

Bar-Cochba, 84 

Bards, 74 

Barnaud, Nicolo, 220 

Barruel quoted, 314, 315 

Basilides = 365, 95 

Bassus, Baron, 310 

Battle of the Shades, 53 

Bawson = Beauseant, 152 

Bayezid, 123, 124 

Beanus, 333 

Beatific Vision, 86 

Beauseant, 152 

Bee Jaune, 334 

Beghards, 142 

Beguines, 142 

Bela, 17 

Belenus = 3 65, 31, 95 

Bellarmine, Inquisitor, 289 

Bemoostes Haupt, students' term, 


Benares, pagoda at, 46 
Bence-Schihab, 130 
Benjamin, 17 
Benjaminites, 17 
Besen, students' term, 333 
Bespier quoted, 128 
Bestia cornigera, 334 
Betilies, 52 

Beyl, Thug burial-place, 248 
Bhovani, 15, 37. See also Kali 
Bidanis, the, 132 
Bischofswerder, John R, 230 
Black = unbeliever, 129 
Blackstone, 15, 39 
" Blazing Star," by Tschudi, 239 



Bloody skins, clothing in, 70 

Blue colour, 28, 38, 68 
Cross, order of the, 222 

Bode, an Illuminate, 312 

Body, 10 

Boehme, 7, 199, 203 

Boeijens, Grand Inquisitor, 184 

Boethius, 150 

Boetia, 57 

Bogomiles, 143 

Boileau, physician, 215 

Bologna University, 139 

"Book of Martyrs," 13 

Bootes, 14, 1 06 

Borahs, 246 

Borrelli, Viiicenzo, 273 

Borri, F. J., 226 

Boughs, sacred, 14 

Bouillon, Godfrey de, 140 

Bourgogne, Marie de, 185 

Bragadino, alchymist, 202 

Brahm, 23, 38, 106 

and Brahma, distinction be- 
tween, 39 

Brahmins, doctrines of, 34, 36 

Brandfuchs, students' term, 332 

Brentz, Frederick, 85 

Brigands, Spanish, 255, 260 

Broomstick wedding, 253 

Brack, Dr., apologist of the In- 
quisition, 191 

Brunet, Hugo de, 145 

Brutus, evil genius of, 25 

Buddha, 8 

Buddhism, 35, 36, 63 

Bull, Egyptian, 45, 65 

Bull, zodiacal, 45 

Bull-roarer, 59 

Bungoos, river Thugs, 248 

Burckhardt quoted, 129, 131 

Bursch, German student, 331 

Burschenschaften, 331 

Burton, Nicholas, 185 

Bush, Baron de, 312, 316 

Buttler, Eva von, 299, 300 

CABBALA, 83 et seq. 

Cabbalistic representation of God. 

1 60 

Cabbalists, 83-88, 97 
Cabiri, mysteries of, 58 
Cadiz, Inquisition at, 185 

Cadmus, 57 

Cagliostro and Universal Aurora, 

Cain, 95 

Cainites, 95, 143 
I Cairo, lodge of, 114, 115 
j Calvary, 48, 106 
! Cambyses, 30 
| Camels, students' term, 331 
| Camillus= Osiris, 58 

Camorra, 264-274 
; Campilla, Inquisitor-General, 191 

Canephoroi, 57 

Canscha om Pacsha, 60 

Carbonari, 318 

Cardinal, Peter, Troubadour, 145 

Carlos, Don, 186 

Carlsruhe, alchymy at, 201 

Carolina, La, Spanish colony, 189 

Cashmala = Camillus, 5 8 

Cashmere, Vale of, 5 

Castleton grotto, 74 

Castor and Pollux, 57 

Catechumens, Christian, 104 

Cathari despise the Cross, 141 

Catherine II., 292 

Caucasian race, 6 

Cave of salvation, 287 

of white giant, 29 
Caves, Druidic, 74 
Cazalla, Dr., 185 
Cedrinus, 235 

Celle, last Vehm court held at, 167 
Cells of mercy, 179 

of penitence, 179 
Centres of the Camorra, 266 
Cerberus, 47 

Ceres, 15, 16, 59, 61, 80, 106 

Ceridwen, 74 

Cerimdad, 125 

Cerinthus, 95, 103 

Ceylon, 36 

Chaldean temples, 60 

Chaldeans, 60 

Charcoal-burners, 321 

Charles II., 188 

Charles V., 167, 176, 178, 183, 184, 


Charon, 53 
Chasidim, 97 
" Chasse (La) du Cerf des Cerfs,' 

Chaucer's "Testament of Love," 

Chauffeurs, 250-256 



Chauffeurs, their marriage cere- 
mony, 251 

Cheremones, 48 

Chiefs of the Seven Churches of 
Asia, 229 

Chifflet, Gnostic writer, 96 

Chinese Buddhism, 65 

initiation, 63 

metaphysics, 63 

mysteries, 63 

Chivalry, 147-160 

Christ and Essenes, 99 

order of, 160 

Christianity, antiquity of, 8, 103 

and Buddhism compared, 63 

derived from paganism, 14, 


Christmas, 75 

Christophoris, 54 

Chymia, password, 55 

Cid, origin of title, 116 

Cinyras, 57 

Circulation, 10 

Circumcellians, 138 

Circumcision, 85 

Clement, church of St., at Rome, 

3 1 

Clement V. persecutes Cathari, 141 
Clergy persecute workmen, 319 
Coalition Act of 1800, 329 
Goer Sidi, 74 
Cohens, site of, 215 
Commanderies of Templars, 153 
Commerzhaus, 332 
Compagnonnage, 318 

disturbances caused by, 323 

symbols of, 321 

Compagnons Devorants, 320 
de liberte, 319 

du devoir, 319 

Passants, 320 

Condorcet, 215 

Conedie, Yves, a Chauffeur, 256 

Con-ex Omon Fault, 60 

" Confessio Fraternitatis Rosse 

Crucis," 220 
Confucius, u, 63 
Congregations of the Jesuits, 284 
Conrad, Ludwig, 225, 227 
Conrad of Montferrat, 117 
Constant, A. L., 88 
Constantia, Leona, 240 
" Contes de la Reine de Navarre," 

Cooper, initiation of, 326 

Coosul, Thug victim, 246 
Cord with seven threads, 39 
Corybantes, 58 
Cosmogony, Hindoo, 35 
Costumes, eccentric, 234 
Couci, 173 

Cousin in court phraseology, 318 
Cowans, no 
Grata Repoa, 51-56 
Creation, book of, 83, 84 

out of nothing, 86 

Crete, 57 

Crishna, n 

Cromlech, 74 

Cross, 10, 15, 46, 56, 59, 73, 79, 

104, 105 

fourth property of nature, 10 
its importance in mysticism, 

Templars and Cathari despise 

it, 141, 158 
Cruciform pine, 59 
Crusaders, 139 
Crux ansata, 46 
Culture, primitive, 9 
Curete, 98 
Cuzco, temple at, 71 
Cybele, 58 
Cyce, a drink, ^4 
Cypher of Illuminati, 309 
Cyrus, 30 



Dalby, William de, alchymist, 200 

Daniel, founder of Jewish Cabbala, 

eatrice, 145 
I star descending into 

Daniello, Arnaldo, Troubadour, 

Dante, 13 

- and 

hell, 33 
Dao, 27 
Darazi, 126 
Darwin, 6 
Darwinism, 206 
Deir el Hammar, 129 
Demiurgos, 54, 79, 94, 95 
Demon of the South, 187 

with the iron head, 187 
Dervishes, 37, 132, 133 
Descent into hell, 1 2 



Deus, origin of word, 26 
Development, mental, 8 
Devil-worship, its origin, 143 
Devoir of workmen, 319 
Deza, Grand Inquisitor, 177, 184 
Dietrich, Mayor of Strasbourg, 


Dionysides, 57 
Divination, 84 
Doctrines of Brahmins, 34 

of Druids, 75 

of Druses, 128 

of Esoteric and Exoteric, 44, 
62, 73 

of Essenes, 98 

of Heretics, 137 

of Ishmaelites, 1 14 
of Japanese, 65 

of Magi, 24 
of Mexicans, 69 

of Nature and Being, 10 
Dog-star, 45 

Dogmas, uniformity of, n, 14 

Dogs' beards, 183 

Dolcino, 141 

Dolmen, 74 

Dominican friars the Thugs of 

the Papacy, 181 
Dominique de Guzman, 174 
Domitian, 58 
Donatists, 138 
Don Carlos, 186 
Doors of Chaldeans and Yucatan 

temples, 60 

Dortmund, 163, 165, 166 
Drilles, 320 
Drottes, 78 
Druids, 73-77 
Drummond, his account of the 

Assassins, 120 
Druses, 126-131 
Dualism, 4, 10, 15, 24, 90 
Du Mesnil, 120 
Dyaus = sky, 27 


EARTH, circumference and round- 
ness of, known to ancients, 6 
Ecker and Eckhofen, Baron, 231 
Edda, 79, 80 
Edict of religion, 315 
Egg, symbolical, 65 
Egyptian mysteries, 43-50 

Eight doors of different metals, 52 
Elect followers of Manes, 90 

Swedenborgians, 216 

Elected Cohens, 215 

Elective affinity, 12 

Electricity, 15 

Elephanta, 38 

Eleusinian mysteries, 59, 224 

Elixir of life, 199 

Ellora, 38, 39 

Emanation, first, 24, 86 

Emanationists, 81 

Encrafites, 143 

Endimion, 52 

Ensoph, 86 

Ephesian priesthood, 98 

Epoptes, 1 6, 59 

Equinox, vernal, 58 

Erechtheus, 57 

Ermenonville, mansion of, 313, 

3 J 4 
Esoteric and Exoteric doctrines, 

44> 62, 73 

Espinosa, Grand Inquisitor, 187 
Esposito, Eaffaele, 273 
Essenes, 97-99 
Etangi, a dress, 56 
Eternal liberty, 9 

mirror of wonders, 9 

nature, properties of, 10, 204 

nothing, 63 
Etruria, 17 
Eubates, 74 
Eve, 14 

Evergreen in churches, 75 
Everlasting Gospellers, 24, 143 
Evil, principle of, 24, 25 
Evoe, 58 
Ezekiel, visions of, 33, 85, 224 

FAITHFUL, the, 99, 104 

Fakirs, 36 

Fall of man, 13, 25 

False Nuncio, 191 

Fama Fraternitatis Rosse Crucis, 


Family of love, 93 
Farohars, 24 
Fati mite dynasty, 114 
"Faust" quoted, 18 
Fehm. See Vehm 
Fehmbar, 166 



Fehmschweine, 164 

Ferdinand the Catholic, 257 

Ferdinand VII., 177, 191 

Fig-leaf, allegorical, 14 
- -tree of Atys, 14 

Finches, students' term, 331 

Fire, 10, 26, 46, 55 

in Mexican mysteries, 69 

worshippers, 26 

First cause, 34 

Fish, symbol of Christ, 105 

Floreadores, 259 

Flotter Bursch, students' term, 332 

Fludd, Kobert, 224 

Fo, ii 

Four, number, 28 

Foxes, 331 

Foxes of Liberty, 321, 324 

Frampton, John, 185 

Francis L, 183, 318 

Franck, Jacob, 87 

Franco, William, 176 

Fraxinus, 235 

Frederick William II. and Rosi- 
er ucians, 230 

Free Judges, 164 

Freemasonry and Compagnon- 
nage, 318 
and Dervishes, 133 

and Jesuitism, 285 

Freemasons, victims of the In- 
quisition, 189, 191 

Freher, D. A., 210 

Freigraf, 165 

Freischoppe, 165 

Freistiihle, 164 

French Workmen's Unions, 317- 


Freya, 79 

Friends of God, 142 
Frogs, students' term, 331 
Frohnbote, 164 


GABALIS, Count, 226 
Gabrianca, 214 
Gangler, 79 
Garduna, 257-263 
Gate of Death, 52 

of Gods, 5 5 

of Horn, 60 

of Ivory, 60 

Gavots, 320, 324 

Gay science, 144 

Geber, the alchymist, 200 

Geier, students' term, 333 

Gematria, branch of Cabbala, 85 

Genii, evil, 25 

Geras, 16, 17 

German students, 331-335 

Ghibellines, 139 

Ghoolat, a Mohammedan sect, 113 

Gibberish, origin of term, 200 

Gnostic aeons, 86 

sign of recognition, 96 

stone, 96 
symbols, 159 

Gnosticism, 83, 96, 215 
Goat-riders, 282 

skin apron, 326 

God, Cabbalistic representation of, 


Indian secret doctrine of, 34 

Gods, slain, 14 
Golden Ass, 14, 108 

bough, 14 

chain, 8 

Cross, Brethren of the, 229 
Gordianus, an Asiatic brother, 


Gorgon, 54, 105 
Goschen, a bookseller, 316 
Got, Bertrand de, 155 
Grand-Master of Chauffeurs, 254 

of Templars, 155^ 156 

Great Mother, 109 

Grecian mysteries, 61 

Greece, 17 

Greek Church, 107 

Griffin and wheel, 52 

Griffins, 32 

Guapo, head of Chauffeurs, 250 

Guebres, 26 

Guelphs, 139 

Guilds, first, in England, 328 

Guzman, Dominique de, 174 

Gymnosophists, 37, 40 


HADES, lake of, 108 

Hague, lodge of Rosicrucians at 

the, 227 

Hakem Biamrillah, 115, 126, 127 
Hamze, 126, 127 
Handwerksbursche, 326 
Har, 79 



Harless, Dr. von, quoted, 228 
Hashishim, 1 1 6 
Hassan Sabbah, 116, 118 
Hathor, 45 
Hearers, the, 104 
Hecate, 49 
Heimliche Acht, 164 
Helio- Arkite rites, 1 1 , 12, 80 
Heliopolis, 51 
Heliotrapeza, 37 
Hell, 10 

Hennessy, David, assassinated by 

Henry II., King of England, 173 
Henry VI. encourages alchy mists, 


Heraclitus, 96 
Hercules, 1 1 

- Persian, 29 
Heretics, 135-145^ *73, i?4 
Heritzilopochtli, 67 
Hermes, n, 31, 197, 225 

- and Ram, 197 
pillars of, 5 1 

Hermetic art, 198 

- rite, 2 1 5 

- society," 20 1 
Herodotus, 48 
Hertel, Canon, 309 
Heve = serpent, 52 
Hewers, 321 

Heydon, a Rosicrucian, 224 

Hieroglyphics of Illuminati, 

Hierogrammatical writing, 53 

Hierophant, 16, 51 

Hierostolista, 54 

Higgins, Godfrey, quoted, 240 

Hildebrand, Pope, 172 

Hindoo cosmogony, 35 

Hiram Abiff, 14, 38, 48, 320 

Hoder, 80 

Hoffmann's " Kater Murr," 335 

Hohenzollern Hechingen, 144 

Horn, 40 

Homer quoted, 8 

Homo Rex, 309 

Honorius III., 174 

Hoolagoo, 1 20 

Horace quoted, 23 

- genius comes of, 25 
Horn and ivory doors, 60 

- of unicorn, 176 
Horus, 48, 103, 1 08 
Hospitallers, order of, 149, 160 
Hu, the Druidic Osiris, 73, 74 

Human sacrifices, Druidic, 76 

Mexican, 70 

Scandinavian, 78 

type, the most perfect, 5 
Huntsman's phraseology, 325 
Hussites sprung from Manichse- 

ism, 91 
Huxley, 208 


Ibis, password, 55 

Iblis, 128 

Ibn Batoutah, traveller, 120 

Ibrahim Pasha, 129 

Igneous ether, 10 

" Iliad " quoted, 8 

Illuminatse sisters, 310 

Illuminate, the, 99 

Illuminated Theosophists, 214 

Illuminati, 305-314 

of Avignon, 212 

of Bavaria, 212 

Imams, 114, 115 

Impostors, pagan, 1 10 

Impregnation of zero-world, 86 

Inachus, 57 

Indian creed, vulgar, 34 

rosary, 226 

Initiation, Bacchic, 57 
Brahminic, 34 

- Buddhistic, 35 

Camorra, 265, 266 

Chinese, 63 

Christian, 103 

Cooper, 326 

Druidic, 74 

- Egyptian, 47, 5 1 
Eleusinian, 59 

Essenes, 98 

German student, 382 

Illuminati, 306-308 

Jains, 41 

Japanese, 65 
Jesuits, 286 

- Magi, 27 

Mexican, 68 

Mithraic, 3 1 

Monkish, 287 

- Persian, 30 

Quiches, 71 

Templars, 156, 158, 160 
transition from ancient to 

modern, 137 



Initiation, Vehm, 164 
Innocent III., 173 
Inquisition, 172-193 
Inquisitors, character of, 193 

first, 173 

INRI, Rosicrucian interpretation 

of, 227 

Intelligence of Lau-Tze, 97 
International, the Black, 289 
Interpolation in Genesis iii., 13 
lophis, 45 

Isabella of Spain, 175, 183 
Ishmaelites, 111-133 
Isis, 44, 45, 54, 96, 105, 108 
metamorphosis of legend of, 

Israel of Podolia, 87 

Istar, 32 

Iswara, 44 

Ivanowna, A., 292, 293 

Ivory door, 60 

Ixciana, 67 

Izads, 24, 26, 30 


Jacob's ladder, 8 

Jafuhar, Druidic deity, 79 

Jains, 40, 41 

James, son of Joachim, 319, 320 

Jammabos, 66 

Janus, 105 

Japanese doctrines, 65 

mysteries, 65 

Jehovah, 97 
Jerusalem, 139 

the New, 92 

of Swedenborg, 2 1 2 

Jesuits, 285-291 

Jesuits de robe courte, 283 

Jews expelled from Spain, 183, 


Jezdegerd, 309 
Jhirnee, a Thug signal, 248 
Joa, a password, 54 
Joachim, architect, 319 
Johannites, 159 
John, the priest, 64 
John's, St., day, 75 

Gospel, 103 

Joseph, 1 06 
Joshua, 105 
Jouflroi, Marquis de, 314 

Journeyman in Middle Ages, 317 
Jovials, 320 

Judiciary societies, 161-193 
Julius II., Pope, 144 




Kaderijeh, Dervish order, 132 

Kadosh, 16 

Kala = Time, 246 

Kali, 15, 246, 247, 248 

Kapila, 83 

Karlee, rock- temple at. 41 

"KaterMurr," 3 35 

Khaliloollah, 121 

Khan Mehelati, 121 

Khilwat, 123 

Khodjas, 121 

Kirchhof, chief of Goat-riders, 


Kissing the Virgin, 167 
Kit Cotey's house, 74 
Knigge, Baron, 308, 309 
Knight of the Swan, 140 
Knights of Labour, 330 
military apostles of the Re- 
ligion of Love, 149 

of the Rose, 145 
Knowledge possessed by ancients, 


true, how lost, 7,9, 1 1 

Komastis, 54 

Konigsberg, Muckers at, 302 

Konrad von Marburg, 192 

Konx om pax, 60 

Koppen, 56 

Koran, absurdity of, 114 

Kortum, K. A.. 202 

Kudull, a Thug martyr, 249 

Kussee, sacred pickaxe of Thugs, 


LACKSCHEMI, wife of Vishnu, 225 
Ladder with seven steps, 52 
Lama, 66 

Landmannschaften, 331 
Langue d'Oc, 144 

d'Oui, 144 
Latona, 108 

Lavalette de Langes, 2 1 5 
Law, William, 210 



Le, the infinite, 63 

Leade, Jane, 210 

Legend of the Madhi, 113 

Lemnos, 57 

Lenormant, 32 

Lethe, 48 

Levi, Eliphas, 88 

Libra, 16 

Life, universal, 9 

Light, 9, 15, 26, 27 

Lilla, Colonel de, 190 

Lingam, 38, 40 

Listeners, 90 

Little, Robert Wentworth, 241 

Living Spirit, 90 

Lobele, 87 

Lodge of Cairo, 114 

of Wisdom, 113 

Lodges of Adoption, 145 

Logos, 8, 9, 25 

Loke, 80 

Lollards, 142 

Lord of the Mountain, 116 

Los Velez, Marquis of, 187 

Lotus, 40 

Love, Courts of, 145 

- Religion of, 145, 149 
Lowell quoted, 19 
Loyola, Ignatius, 305 
Lucifer, Bishop of Cagliari, 142 
Luciferians, 142, 143 
Lully, Raymond, 200, 237 
Lumanuski, Colonel, 190 
Luminous Ring, 215 
Luther, 335 

Lux in Rosicrucianism, 225 
Luxor, 43 
Lytton, Lord, 88, 241 


MACCABEES quoted, 98 

Macrocosm, 86 

Madrid, auto-da-fe at, 188 

Mafia, 277-281 

Magi, 21-29 

Magus, 308 

of Asiatic Brethren, 238 

of Rosicrucians, 224, 240 
Mahadeva, 39 
Mahanirvana, 34 
Mahdi, legend of the, 113 
Mahomet, 106 
Mahommedan sects, 13 

Maimonides, 86 
Maja, 9 

-^- Bhovani, 1 5 
Mala Vita, 273 
Malhed, 123 

Malleus maleficarum, 181 
Maneras, 55 
Manes, 55, 89, 91 
Manicheeans, 89, 90, 139, 236 

in students' cant, 333 

Mano Fraterna, 279 

Marcava, 85 

Maronites, 130 

Marranos, 175, 188, 258 

Martin, St., 217 

Martinez Paschalis, 217 

Martinism, 217, 218 

Mary, Bloody, 192 

Masan Khan Glazi, 124 

Mass, secret performance of, 107 

Matter is light, 9, 63 

of Gnostics, 94 

Maturan, pagoda of, 46 
Maximilian, Emperor, 167 
Maya, language of Yucatan, 60 
Mazeudaraun, 29 
Medina-Coeli, 174 
Meithras=365, 30 
Melampus, 57 
Melanophoris, 52 
Melchisedeck, 234 

lodges, 23 1 
Menander, 95 
Mene Musee, 52 
Mental development, causes of 

high, 6 

Menu, laws of, 35 
Mercurius philosophorum, 8 
Merinthus, 103 
Merlin, 76 

Mersen, band of robbers of, 284 
Meshia and Meshiane, 25 
Messalians, 143 
Metals and planets, 199 

in alchymy, 199 

Metamorphoses of God, 5 

Metatron, 86 

Metempsychosis, 36, 66 

Metonic cycle, 75 

Mexican mysteries, 67, 68, 69 

Microcosm, 86 

Mictlaneiheratl, 67 

Mihr, month of, 31 

Persian name of the sun, 




Military orders, 149 
Militia of Christ, 174 
Minerval school for girls, 310 
Minnesangers, 144 
Minos, 57 
Minstrels, 144 
Mirabeau, 312 
Mirror, symbolical, 65 

of Saxony, 165 

of Wonders, 9 

Mishna, or literal Cabbala, 84, 85, 
Missionaries, Christian, 13 
Mistletoe, 14, 80 
Mithraics, 12, 30, 31, 32, 80, 85, 

9, 95 > 2 37 

Mithras, temple of, at Ostia, 31 
Mnemosyne, 48 
Mohammed-ben-Hosair, 114 
" Moins Diable que noir," 323 
Moizz li dinillah, 114 
Molinists burnt, 189 
Monach Caron Mini, 53 
Mondejar, Marquis of, 187 
Monkish initiations, 289 
Montanus. See Conrad (Ludwig) 
Montaudon, monk of, 145 
Montesa, order of Our Lady of, 

Moors, conspiracy of the, 187 

and Jews burnt, 183, 185 

expelled from Spain, 187, 

Mopses, 3 1 1 

" More Notes than Text," 315 

Mormio. Peter, 239 

Moses, 83, 84, 113 

Mother Night, 80 

of Life, 90, 109 

of Universe, 97 

Mothers, the, in " Faust," 206 

of Emanationists, 84 

Motion, 26 

Muckers, 301 

Mylitta, 31 

Mysteries astronomically con- 
sidered, 1 6, 17 

initiated in Jesuit initiation, 


perpetuated in Freemasonry, 

1 3 

places for celebrating, 27, 31, 

38, 46, 59, 68 

punishment for profaning, 


Mystes, 16, 59 

Mystic teaching, key to, u, 12, 

T 3 
Mystics, 195-241 


NAMES, Benjaminite, 17 

- of countries, most ancient, 

Napoleon I. abolishes the In- 
quisition, 189 
antichrist, 295 

Nature and Being, the doctrines 
of, 5, 7, 8 

seven properties of eternal, 


Naude, Gabriel, 239 

" Navarre, Contes de la Eeine de," 

Navvies, English, their marriage 

ceremony, 253 
Neocoris, 52 
Neo-platonism, 83 
Netherlands oppose Inquisition, 

1 86 

New Grange, temple at, 46 
New Jerusalem of Swedenborg, 


New saints, 87 

Newton indebted to Bohme, 205 

Nicholas of Westphalia, 93 

Nicolai, F., 87, 160, 238, 309 

Night, personification of, 15 

Nile, river, 42, 46 

Nilometer, 46 

Nine, number, 78 

Nirvana, 36 

Noah, 113 

Nordkirchen, 163 

Notaricon, 85 

Nothing, the, 86 

Numbers, Cabbalistic, 83, 84 

of Druids, 75 

Numidia, 17 
Nun, the fish, 105 
Nusairi, 131 
Nuseiriyeh, 130 

Cannes, 105 

Oath of Camorra, 266 

of Illuminati, 313 



Oath of Jesuits, 287 

of Mala Vita, 275 

of Rosicrucians, 223 

of Skopzi, 297 

of Thugs, 249 

of Vehm, 165 

Obaid, Allah, 114 

Oblonica, 279 

Oceanus, 106 

Ockals, 128 

Odin, 78, 79 

Odos, orator in Grata Repoa, 54 

GEdipus, 1 6 

Oimellas, 55 

Old Man of the Mountain, 1 16 

Oliphant, Lawrence, 2 1 1 

Olivades, Count, 189 

Olivet, Mount, 40 

Olmo, Joseph del, 188 

Om, 39 

O-Mi-To Fo, 63 

Omnific Word, 8 

Onomakritos, 62 

Ophites, 95 

Orcus, 54 

Orgies, 109 

Orleans, canons of, 92 

Ormuzd, 14 

Oromazes, 24, 25, 30, 32 

Orpheothelestes, 62 

Orpheus, 16, 57 

Orphic league, 62 

Orphics of Thrace, 98 

Orus, 55 

Osiris, 11, 12, 14, 44, 48 


Palm Sunday, 14 

Pan, 14 

Panacea, the, 199 

Pannonia, 17 

Paracelsus, 200 

Paraclete, 90 

Paradise, 10, 12, 13, 39 

Parisian workmen's rivalry, 324 

Parsees, 26, 97 

Paschalis, site of, 217, 218 

Pastophorus, 51 

Pastes, 59, 65, 74 

Patari, 173 

Patarini, 92 

Path of the Dead, 69 

Paths, Dervish divisions, 132 

Patron of Cripples, the, 283 

Paul, St., 108 

Paul III., 193 

Pedlar's French, 282 

Peetash, 25 

Pelikan, Dr. E., his book on the 
Skopzi, 293 

Pennal, 331 

Pepuzians, 95 

Pererius, his opinion of the Cab- 
bala, 88 

Peres, John, the false Nuncio, 192 

Perfect, the, 99 

Pernetti, Abbe, 214, 215 

Persephone, 15 

Persia, 113, 120 

Persian era, 309 

Hercules, 29 

Mithras, 30 

I Personification of natural pheno- 
mena, ii 

Peter, St., 106 

Peter III. of Eussia, 294, 295 

Peter of Castelnau, 174 

Petrarch, 145 

Petrowna, Anna, 295 

Elizabeth, 294 

Phallus, 45 

Phansigars or Thugs, 245 

Phantoms, canine, 109 

Pharisees, 30, 97 

Philadelphians in London, 210 
in Narbonne, 215 

Philalethes, 215 

Philip the Fair, 153 

Philip II., 1 86, 187 

III., 188 

- IV., 1 88 

Philistines, students' cant term, 

33 1 
Philo, the author, 83, 86, 98 

- an Illuminate pseudonym, 
308, 312 

Philosopher's stone, 199 
Philosophic Scotch rite, 215 
Philosophy, modern, indebted to 

Bohnie, 207 
Phoenix, 45, 239 
Phtha, 10 
Picard, 138 
Picardy, 17 
Picciotto, 265 
Piereus, 106 
Pietists, 97 



Pius IX., 183 

Planets, seven, 79, 199 

Plants in mysteries, 14 

Platina quoted, 175 

Plato, 23, 31, 43, 83, 96, 115 

Pleroma, 94 

Ploticyn, a Skopez, 296, 297 

Plutarch, 24 

Pneumatikoi, 95 

Point, imperceptible, 86 

Poland, 17 

Polarity of nature, 15, 24 

Political societies, aims of, 5 

Poly carp, 172 

Pombal, Marquis de, 291 

Pontiff, the first, 113 

Pooroosh, 38 

Popol-Vuh, 72 

Porphyry, 48 

Portophorus, 51 

Portuguese Inquisition, 191 

Potro, the, 178 

Prahma, 106 

Prakriti, 36 

Prehistoric ages, 7 

Prester John, 64 

Principles, two, 83 

Priscillians, 172 

Prodigal Son, society of the, 322 

" Prometheus Bound," 16, 106, 159 

Prophets, three, to appear, 26 

Proserpina, 15 

Protestants persecuted by Inquisi- 
tion, 187 

Protoplasm, 6 

Psychikoi, 95 

Purification by air, 47 

by fire, 27, 38, 47 

by terrifying shows, 28, 32, 

287, 289 

by water, 27, 31, 47 

Puritans of antiquity, 30 

Pyramid, great, 12, 46 

Pyramids at places of initiation, 

Pythagoras, 62, 75, 83, 84, 96, no, 


Python, 44, 108 

Pyxon, chapter held in Grata 
" Repoa, 54 



Quemadero, 176 

Quetzalcoatl, 67 
Quiches initiation, 7 1 



Kaffaelo Esposito, 273 

Eagon's opinion of Grata Repoa, 

5 6 
Rainbow, 63, 68 

Rakshi, 29 

Rashid-addin, 117, 120 

Redemtis, a password, 308 

Red Tassels, 66 

Reflections on the Inquisition, 


Religion of Love, 89, 92, 114 
Religious societies, 5 
Remorse, 4 
Repulsion, 10 
"Restoration of Decayed Temple 

of Pallas," 220 
Renter, Sebastian, 302 
Richard Cceur de Lion, 121, 122, 


Richthausen, a Rosicrucian, 238 
Rifajeh, a Dervish order, 132 
Ring of Light, 86 
Robbers, Italian and German, 


Robert, King, 92 
Roberto il Diavolo, 14 
Robinson quoted, 311, 315, 316 
Roland, Furious, 149 
Roomal, Thug handkerchief, 246 
Roper, Samuel, 315 
Ros, 17 

"Rose, Romance of the," 225 
Rose in mysteries, 225 
Rosenkreuz, Christian, 220, 225 
Rosheniah, 123, 124 
" Rosicrucian, The," 241 
"Rosicrucian in his Nakedness," 


Rosicrucians, 219-241 
" Rosicrucians, Real History of," 

Waite's, 225 
Rosy, the, 1 5 

Rosy Cross, college of the, 239 
" Rosy Cross, Echo of the Society 

of the," 220 

Rouse, John le, alchymist, 200 
Royal Arch, 99 
Beam, 56 



Euachhiber, a password, 237 
Eussia, 17 
Eustam, 29 

rites, 1 1 
SabaBism, 12 
Sabai, 58 

Sabazian mysteries, 58 
Sabazius, 58, 320 
Sacellum, 28, 79 
Sadducees, 97 
Sages of Light, 238 
Said Bidani, a Dervish order, 

Ibrahim, a Dervish order, 


Saint- Germain, 313 
Saint- Martin, 208, 218 
Sals, 43, 45 
Sakyamuni, 36 

Salagram, magical black stone, 39 
Salms, Prince of, 312 
Samaritans, 97 
Samothrace, 57 
Samuel = Satan, 86 
San Benito, 181 
Sanfedisti, 271 
SanGreal, 150, 151 
Sanphenat Panca, 55 
Saophain, 17 
Sar Happanim, 86 
Sarim, 120 
Saturn, 14 

Saviour of Gnostics, 94 
Saxe- Weimar, Duke of, 229 
Sayn, Count, 192 
Sayn- Wittgenstein, Duke of, 301 
Scandinavian mysteries, 78 
Scarabei, 42 
Schiloff, a Skopez, 294 
Schinderhannes, 283 
Schonherr and his sect, 302 
Schrift-Maurer, 326 
Schropfer, J. G., 230 
Science, its power, 18 
Scotch Knight, 307 

rite, philosophic, 215 

Secreta Monita of Jesuits, 289 

Sectaries of Middle Ages, 92 

" Secte des Illumines, La," 312 

Seekers, 231 

Self -darkening, 10 

renunciation, 36 

Selivanoff, 291, 292, 293 
Sena, island, 76, 77 
Sepher-yetzirah, 83, 84 
Sephiroth, 86 
Serapis, 30, 44, 48 
Serpent, 42, 52 

brazen, 58 

golden, 58 

living, 28, 58 

mounds, 68 

worship, 58, 68 
Seven caves, 15, 28, 39 

Chinese revere number, 63 

Churches of Asia, Asiatic 

Brethren chiefs of, 231 

degrees of Assassins, 1 1 7 

number, 7, 1 2 

properties of eternal nature, 

10, 204 

signs of the zodiac, 16 

spheres in Japanese mysteries, 

steps, ladder with, 15, 16, 

5 2 

Seville, Inquisition at, 176, 178, 
185, 187 

Seydna, 116 

Shades, battle of the, 53 

Snap, Druidic temple at, 73 

Shiites, 132 

Shiva, 246 

Sicily, original seat of the Mafia, 

Sidna, 116 

Siete Partidas statutes of knight- 
hood, 150 

Sigge, Scythian prince, 78 

Signature Eertim, 207, 219, 227 

Silbury Hill, 73 

Simon-ben- Joachai, 83 

Simon Magus, 95 

Simorgh, 27 

Sirius, 45 

Sitt El Mulk, 127 

Siva, 37, 38, 39, 40, 58 

Six days of festival of lliammuz, 

3 2 

working properties of nature, 

10, 26 

Sixtus IV., 175 

Skin, human, in Peruvian mys- 
teries, 68, 70 

Skopzi, 292-300 

Sleeman quoted on Thugs, 245 

Society, most ancient secret, 19 



Socrates' familiar spirit, 25 

Solomon, 318, 319, 320 

Solomon's temple, 49 

Solstices, 12, 75, 80 

Sonoka, first murder on Thug ex- 
pedition, 248 

Sons of the Widow, 89 

Sophia, Virgin, 9, 90, 150 

the free woman, 12 

Soubise, 319, 320 

Sousarman, 14 

Spain, 17 

Sparks, emanations so called, 86 

Spartacus, a pseudonym, 307, 312 

Spheres, harmony of the, 92 

Sphinxes, 42 

Spirits, elemental, of Rosicrucians, 

evil, 25 

familiar, 25 

Spiritualism, its antiquity, 85 

S. S. S. G. G., 164 

Stapleton, Thomas, 144 

Stephens, Uriah, 330 

Stolista, 52, 54 

Stonehenge, 73 

Student emigrations in German 
universities, 332, 333 

Stuhlherren, 164 

Sublime Master of Luminous Ring, 

Sudra, 14 

Sufferers, 232, 233 

Summer, 10 

Sums offered to King of Spain to 
make Inquisition trials public, 

Sun, 12, 30, 46, 58, 75 

of Mercy, 214 

Sunnites, 132 

Superstition, its baneful effects, 

J 3 

Superstitious beliefs of beggars, 283 

systems, origin of, 9 
Swedenborg, 211-216 
Symbolical drops, 29 
Symbols, Christian, borrowed from 

Pagan, 104 

T, letter, 46 

Table of the Sun, 37 

Tai-Keik, 63 

Talleyrand de Perigord, 3 1 2 

Talmudists, 97 
Tamurro, 265 
Tamuz, 32 
Tanga-Tango, 71 
Tantalus, 16 
Tapixeites, 53 
Tartary, 40 
Tau, triple, 46 
Tegner quoted, 8 
Templars, 152-160 

and Assassins, 1 19 
Temple, Masonic, legend of the, 


Temura, 85 
Tensio-Dai-Sin, 65 
Teotl, 67 

Tertius of Ratisbon, 87 
Tertullian, 85 
Tescalipuca, 67 
Tetractys, 28, 63 
Thammuz. 32 
Theodora murders Manichaeans, 

Theodore of Good Counsel Lodge, 


Theodosius destroys temple of 
Serapis, 48 

- suppresses Eleusinian mys- 
teries, 6 1 

Theoretical Brethren, 237 

" Theosophic Devotions," 229 

Theosophists, Illuminated, 214 
of Konigsberg, 302 

Therapeutse, 97, 98, 99 

Theresa institute at Vienna, its 
origin, 238 

Thesmophoria, 61 

Thesmophorus, 51 

Thibet, Buddhism in, 65, 66 

Thieves' slang, 283 

Thomas, St., 33 

Thor, 79 

Thora, a Thug saint, 249 

Three officers in mysteries, 79 

Three-peaked mountain, 40 

Thugs, 245-251 

Time without limits, 24 

Tincture, 15, 198 

Tirata, trial of the, 265 

Tlaloc-teatli, 67 

Tombs of Gods, 12 

Tomos, 33 

Torquemada, Grand Inquisitor, 

175. l8 3 

Torrijos, General, 177 


Tour de France, 318 

Tramps, 282 

Transfiguration on Mount, 103 

Transmutation of metals, 198, 

Trials of aspirants, 27, 31, 38, 44, 
47,5i, 58, 59,65,68,69,74 

Triangle, double, 233 

equilateral, 39 

Trimurti, 39 

Trinities, 10, 14, 31, 130 

Trinity College. Dublin, docu- 
ments concerning Spanish In- 
quisition in, 187 

Triple cords, 29, 39 

Trojan war, 23, 42 

Trophonius, 57 

Troubadours, 144 

Truands, 282 

Tupounee, Thug ceremony, 246 

Typhon, 14, 44, 54, 55 


UNIFORMITY of dogmas, 14 
United Friends, secret committee 

of, 312 
Unity, 14 

Universal Aurora, 216 
Unmoved Mover, 9 
Upanayana, 41 
Uranus, 14 
Urban II., 173 

VALD^S, Grand Inquisitor, 185 

Valentinus, 95 

Valhalla, 80 

Valladolid, auto-da-fe at, 186 

Vaticination of Druids, 175 

Vaudois. See Waldenses. 

Vedic system, 35 

Vehm, 163-168 

Venus, Assyrian, 31 

Mexican, 67 

Scandinavian, 79 

Vergenius, Dr., 301 

Vesale, physician, 1 86 

Vibero y Cazalla, Dame Eleanor 

de, 185 

Virgil quoted, 9, 60 
sixth book of, 108 

Virgin births, 14, 67 

how remains virgin, 9, 1 5 

kissing the, 167 

Sophia, 9, 39, 45 

prototype of Virgin 

Mary, 9 

Virgins of the Sun, 7 1 
Virgo, 14, 1 06 
Virococha, 67 
Vishnu, 38, 68, 105 

Purana, 34 
Vituzzo, Vito, 170 
Vitzliputzli, 67 
Vulcan, 10, 57 


WAITE, author of " Kosicrucians," 

quoted, 225, 240 
Waldenses, 139, 142 
Waldo or Waldus, 139, 142 
Wales, Prince of, visits Assassin 

chief, 121 

visits Thugs, 250 
Walton, Christopher, 210 
Weishaupt, Adam, 307, 312 
Wellesley, Sir Henry, 191 
Westenrieder, Professor, 309 
Westphalian Secret Tribunals. See 

White Giant, cavern of, 29 

stone of Essenes, 99 

Whizzer, 59 

Widow, Sons of the, 89 

Wilkins, Thomas, 177 

Will, omnipotence of, 217 

Williams, Dr., gift to library of, 


Winter, 10 
W T inter, G. J., founder of Muckers, 


Winter solstice, 75 
Wisdom, lodge of, 113 
Wise among Druses, 128 
Wise Masters, 233 
Wissende members of the Vehm, 


Witchcraft, 144 
Wollner, John Christopher, 230, 

3 T 5 

Wolves, 320 
Wood's " Athenae Oxoniensis," 

Workmen's literature, 327 



Wort-Maurer, 326 
Wyckliffites sprung from Mani- 
cheeism, 91 


Ximenes, Cardinal, 178 

Cisneros, 181 

Xylon, 52 

Y = triune God, 63 

Yellow Caps, 66 

Yorkshire cloth, manufacturers, 329 

You-piter, 10 

Yucatan, 60 

Yule, derivation of term, 80 

Yusefzei, 125 



Zadikim, 97 

Zaidan, 114 

Zendavesta, 24, 27 

Zero-world, 86 

Zodiacal signs, 16, 45, 65, 69 

Zohar, book of, 83, 87 

Zoroaster, 23, 95, 97 

Zwack, an Illuminate, 309, 310 


Printed by BALLANTYNE, HANSON & Co. 
Edinburgh and London